Tourism Marketing in Jeopardy

April 18, 2008

Recently the State Finance Committee cut more than $22 million in tourism advertising, promotion dollars, and local project dollars.  This action could put the State’s number one industry in jeopardy.

Travel & Tourism employs thousands of people with 12% of South Carolina’s workforce devoted to this industry. 

Tourism also raises more than $300 million per year in state sales and use taxes which is mostly paid by out-of-state visitors.  Locally, the economic impact generated through tourism is more than $1 billion. The marketing efforts made by the Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, & Tourism and other tourism partners is important to maintaining and increasing that number.

Ric Luber, president/CEO of the Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism states, Tourism is South Carolina’s number one industry.  Our industry pumps millions of dollars into the local economy.  When convention and leisure travelers visit the Columbia Riverbanks Region, they spend money.  That money generates an economic impact that is good for our community because it not only creates lower taxes but it also employs local residents who can contribute to the economy of the community.  Right now our industry is in jeopardy and we need the State’s politicians to see this industry as an industry of value.