77
      Wednesday
      93 / 73
      Thursday
      93 / 72
      Friday
      94 / 72

      Gov. Haley focusing on supporting tourism in rural areas

      Gov. Nikki Haley spoke at the 2013 Governor's Conference on Tourism Wednesday and says the Palmetto State is seeing a lot of green when it comes to tourism.

      COLUMBIA (WACH) - Gov. Nikki Haley spoke at the 2013 Governor's Conference on Tourism Wednesday and says the Palmetto State is seeing a lot of green when it comes to tourism.

      State officials are hoping to spread the wealth from the cities to rural parts of the state that also have something to offer.

      Beth Hipp opened Elizabeth's On Main in Newberry 10 years ago. The clothing store caters to women between 20 and 80 years old.

      Hipp says much of her business comes from tourists on their way to Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

      "Newberry is a very small town and our businesses in downtown Newberry depend on tourism," said Hipp. "We wouldn't survive without it."

      Haley says she is trying to help small businesses like Hipp's grow stronger.

      "We're helping to support them now through our new undiscovered South Carolina campaign, our new ad agency. We're looking to find ways to get people in those [rural] areas," said Haley.

      The governor praised the success of big cities Wednesday saying Charleston was picked as the top vacation destination in the country.

      But Hipp says small towns like Newberry also have much to offer; like the Opera House, Sumter National Forest and antique stores.

      "Lynches Woods has a wonderful hiking trail. We have the access to Lake Murray, the beautiful homes and buildings we have here because Newberry is a very old town. It's a lot of history here," said Hipp.

      South Carolina Tourism By The Numbers

      15.8 ?? The percentage of increase in deplanements in South Carolina during 2011 (SCPRT Research Office)

      15 ?? Number of billions of dollars spent annually on travel in South Carolina (U.S. Travel Association)

      13 ?? Number of counties in South Carolina that experience $100 million in travel related expenditures per year (U.S. Travel Association)

      12 ?? Number of counties in South Carolina that have over 1,000 jobs directly related to tourism (U.S. Travel Association)

      9.4 ?? Number of billions of dollars travel contributes annually to South Carolina??s Gross State Product (U.S. Travel Association)

      7 ?? The percentage of increase in revenue per available room during 2012 (Bloomberg Businessweek)

      3.4 ?? The percentage of increase in hotel occupancy during 2012 (SC Department of Revenue)

      1 ?? The ranking publisher Conde Nast gave the City of Charleston in their listing of top tourist cities in the world (Conde Nast)