Tourism now a $19B industry in South Carolina

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Tourism has grown to become a $19 billion industry in South Carolina.

That’s the word from Duane Parrish, director of the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. He announced new figures Wednesday at a tourism conference in Charleston

The $19 billion figure represents the effect of tourism in 2014. Figures lag about a year behind the calendar year.

Parrish noted that 2015 was a record year in other tourism categories, including hotel occupancy and revenue per available room, an important gauge of industry health.

He says the state is starting a new marketing campaign to focus on what Parrish calls South Carolina’s “liquid assets.” The “Satisfy Your Thirst” campaign is designed to draw visitors to businesses that make everything from beer to tea and from milk to moonshine.