SC

SC Tourism: Still Underperforming

South Carolina’s tourism economy continues to underperform when compared to the rest of the nation – and is once again lagging well behind the “double-digit growth” repeatedly promised by the administration of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley. Haley’s tourism czar – globe-trotting bureaucrat Duane Parrish – has twice promised double-digit annual…

South Carolina’s tourism economy continues to underperform when compared to the rest of the nation – and is once again lagging well behind the “double-digit growth” repeatedly promised by the administration of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley.

Haley’s tourism czar – globe-trotting bureaucrat Duane Parrish – has twice promised double-digit annual growth in the state’s tourism economy. In both 2011 and 2012, though, he missed that mark.

Through the first six months of 2013, South Carolina’s revenue per available room (or “RevPAR, the key tourism metric) stands at $51.09 – which represents a 4.7 percent increase when compared to the first six months of 2012. Nationally, RevPAR is up by 5.6 percent over the same period – from $64.09 last year to $67.69 this year, according to statistics provided by the S.C. Department of Parks Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT).

In 2007 South Carolina’s annual occupancy rate was 58.8 percent and its RevPAR was $51.31. Then the recession hit – which resulted in brutal years in 2009 and 2010. Last year, the occupancy rate had climbed back to 54.5 percent and RevPAR was back up to $50.99.

South Carolina taxpayers spend tens of millions of dollars each year subsidizing the tourism industry via state-sponsored marketing campaigns – money we have consistently argued is about as effective as the money it spends pumping sand into the ocean. Even if such investments were effective, though, they are not core functions of government.

If South Carolina’s tourism industry wishes to market itself to the rest of the world, then it can pick up the tab for those efforts. That’s how business works – or at least how it’s supposed to work. Sadly, in South Carolina our government keeps coming up with ways to usurp private sector functions rather than ways to put money back in the pockets of taxpayers.

We hope the Palmetto State’s tourism numbers improve as the year progresses, but whether they rise or fall it doesn’t change the fact that South Carolina taxpayers shouldn’t be stuck with this multi-million dollar promotional bill.

JUNE 2013 TOURISM DATA

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14 comments

Frank Pytel August 5, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Maybe he meant the two digits after the decimal point?

Reply
Frank Pytel August 5, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Maybe he meant the two digits after the decimal point?

Reply
bob August 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Its a great fricking day in SC!

Reply
bob August 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Its a great fricking day in SC!

Reply
tomstickler August 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm

But, but. . . . Brad Dean gets $20 million in Myrtle Beach tax money each year for tourism. Isn’t that helping, either?

Reply
Boz Martin August 5, 2013 at 3:22 pm

It’s helping Brad for sure. And the the biggest hotels, restaurants and gold courses who have their advertising subsidized by the BrAD TAX.

Everybody else — not so much.

Reply
tomstickler August 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm

But, but. . . . Brad Dean gets $20 million in Myrtle Beach tax money each year for tourism. Isn’t that helping, either?

Reply
Boz Martin August 5, 2013 at 3:22 pm

It’s helping Brad for sure. And the the biggest hotels, restaurants and golf courses who have their advertising subsidized by the BrAD TAX.

Everybody else — not so much.

Reply
Fastmouth August 5, 2013 at 6:59 pm

My family and I went to the beach this past week. Every produce stand selling sweet potatoes and boiled peanuts was wide open. Every putt-putt golf course was rocking and rolling. Every discount swimwear place was running. Every high priced buffet seafood restaurant was packed with folks wanting to get up to the trough. Even the airplanes advertising on the beach were burning $5.00 per gallon aviation gas. It’s a great summer in the “Redneck Riviera”!!!

Reply
Big Daddy August 5, 2013 at 6:59 pm

My family and I went to the beach this past week. Every produce stand selling sweet potatoes and boiled peanuts was wide open. Every putt-putt golf course was rocking and rolling. Every discount swimwear place was running. Every high priced buffet seafood restaurant was packed with folks wanting to get up to the trough. Even the airplanes advertising on the beach were burning $5.00 per gallon aviation gas. It’s a great summer in the “Redneck Riviera”!!!

Reply
Russell August 6, 2013 at 8:02 am

We should start taxing the tourists that come here and reduce the SC individual income tax.

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Russell August 6, 2013 at 8:02 am

We should start taxing the tourists that come here and reduce the SC individual income tax.

Reply
GaryJR August 6, 2013 at 8:43 am

Myrtle Beach tourism is up this year over last so what are you talking about?

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GaryJR August 6, 2013 at 8:43 am

Myrtle Beach tourism is up this year over last so what are you talking about?

Reply

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