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krazeeboi

Boosting tourism in South Carolina

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Apparently, we don't perform as well in the tourism sector as we could. This is according to Irish tourism expert Michael MacNulty. The recommendation is basically to double the marketing budget to double tourism revenue and to improve the state

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Interesting. I would add "Lakes" to the North West district as well, since they (Hartwell, Keowee, Jocasse, etc.) are HUGE magnets for tourism year round already. They could obviously be capitalized on more by the local governments, but the state should help in the promotion of their attractions. They currently draw millions of visitors annually. "Waterfalls" could also be added, since the vast majority of those awesome natural attractions are found in the North West district.

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WIS News announced last night that next week the City of Columbia plans to announce a campaign to take advantage of the upcoming presidential primaries, to get the word out about the Capital City. Plans include a new website and a "media guide" of some kind.

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I thought you guys might get a kick out of this T-shirt being sold on a Main Street sidewalk in Greenville, at The Barefoot Company shop. I imagine they've sold a few of these to tourists. :lol:

GvilleTshirt_01.jpg

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I thought you guys might get a kick out of this T-shirt being sold on a Main Street sidewalk in Greenville, at The Barefoot Company shop. I imagine they've sold a few of these to tourists. :lol:

GvilleTshirt_01.jpg

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That shirt is the kind of trash that this South Carolina native hates to see. To each his own, I guess.

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I'm going to offer a dissenting opinion. I believe South Carolina's encouragement of the tourism industry at the expense of other industries is the single biddest economic mistake that our state has made in the last 50 years.

1. The jobs created by tourism are almost all low-paying.

2. The vast majority of the business-owners that benefit from tourism are located out-of-state. This especially includes hotels, chain restaurants and retail establishments. A small percentage of these businesses are locally owned.

3. While we do collect accomodations and sales taxes on these visitors, they create a tremendous need for new roads and other infrastructure.

I am not opposed to tourism at all, and I think it should be encouraged, bu I feel we have put most of our eggs in this basket and this basket creates many more low-paying jobs than high-paying jobs. The same effort should have been made to attract high-tech industries 30-40 years ago.

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The difference I see between what's presently being proposed and how this state has traditionally viewed tourism is that this plan is well-rounded and focuses on the entire state instead of just the coast. It also appears to be something of a "jumpstart" for other industries, as this tourism plan would highlight the quality of life all over the state. Just my take on it.

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I'm going to offer a dissenting opinion. I believe South Carolina's encouragement of the tourism industry at the expense of other industries is the single biddest economic mistake that our state has made in the last 50 years.

1. The jobs created by tourism are almost all low-paying.

2. The vast majority of the business-owners that benefit from tourism are located out-of-state. This especially includes hotels, chain restaurants and retail establishments. A small percentage of these businesses are locally owned.

3. While we do collect accomodations and sales taxes on these visitors, they create a tremendous need for new roads and other infrastructure.

I am not opposed to tourism at all, and I think it should be encouraged, bu I feel we have put most of our eggs in this basket and this basket creates many more low-paying jobs than high-paying jobs. The same effort should have been made to attract high-tech industries 30-40 years ago.

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Good points. :thumbsup: Does anybody have numbers for per capita income in Myrtle Beach? I was under the impression that it is fairly low. I know crime is fairly high. This in a city I love, but a city full of tourist industry jobs.

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I don't have numbers, but there is an interesting book, Banana Republic: A Year in the Belly of the Beast which iswritten by a guy who chronicled a year he spent living in Myrtle Beach. He skewers MB and its 'leaders pretty well. Sorry, I can't remember the author.

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Just for the record, we're not talking about turning every city in the state into a Myrtle Beach of sorts for the sake of tourism. With all of the hotels being built in cities like Columbia and Greenville, there had better be some kind of push to get them filled.

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Just for the record, we're not talking about turning every city in the state into a Myrtle Beach of sorts for the sake of tourism. With all of the hotels being built in cities like Columbia and Greenville, there had better be some kind of push to get them filled.

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With all of the hotels being built in cities like Columbia and Greenville, there had better be some kind of push to get them filled.

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I still can't understand why so many are being built there all at once. It seems that you'd want to be totally sure of a hotel's success before investing so much in an over-satuated/under-performing (occupany rates) market. Yes, it is great to see new hotels all over, but it may be awhile before real financial success can catch up. Now, I could be totally wrong, but that is what I see today.

On the other hand, Greenville is also experiencing a "hotel boom" that will meet the need for more rooms to accomodate the already strong international business and growing tourism industries. At this point, occupancy rates are very high, and the additional rooms are not expected to hurt the industry overall. I say we'll just have to wait and see for both cities.

To sum it up, I agree with the previous post. We need to focus more on selling the inland cities' tourism options.

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^ Interesting article. Bo Augtry's comments for developers not yet invested in downtown Columbia were interesting, as well as the drop in occupancy rates from 2005 to 2006. Looks like the promotion of tourism (or boosting as this thread is titled) is needed with these new hotels coming online to get occupancy up and build more confidence. :thumbsup:

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Well, the Hilton was a given. Without a hotel to specifically serve the convention center, you won't land as many meetings; so that one will pretty much be self-sustaining. The Sheraton is a limited-niche hotel. It's probably the other hotels mentioned will have their work cut out for them. Even then, I think these were long overdue. It's interesting that DT Columbia has more hotel rooms than DT Raleigh.

I would still like to see ecotourism come to the forefront in this state. This article (PDF file) talks about the untapped potential for ecotourism in the Midlands and statewide. I'll have some more specifics next week when I complete an ecotourism paper for my ecological anthropology class. :thumbsup:

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Here are the specifics of the tourism study done by a consulting firm on behalf of the state.

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I doubt it. I think inland tourism is beginning to be promoted more, which is good. There's much more to SC than the coast.

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Steve Camp, the director of the Columbia Convention and Visitors' Bureau is quoted in "The State" this morning as saying that he hopes to be able to get a piece of it. I think it would definitely be about time.

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