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SC Tourism Watch: 2017 Book Almost Closed

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South Carolina’s tourism industry should close out 2017 on a high note, according to the latest data released by the state.

Is this uptick attributable to ongoing government subsidization of the industry?  Um, no … 

Taxpayer funds for tourism marketing have absolutely no impact in attracting visitors en masse, people.  It’s all macroeconomics … and the ability (or inability) of tourism destinations to diversify their appeal.

Anyway, according to data released this week by the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT) the Palmetto State’s revenue per available room – or RevPAR, the key tourism metric – climbed 1.9 percent last November (compared to November 2016).

Through eleven months, 2017’s growth rate stands at 4.8 percent.

“November’s RevPAR came in at only slightly better than November 2016, but it remains strong year-to-date,” tourism officials said in announcing the data.

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Do we buy that analysis?  To be determined …

Tax receipts often tell a different story, but as of this writing that data for 2017 is unavailable due to ongoing efforts by the S.C. Department of Revenue (SCDOR) to revamp its reporting system.

We’ll know more about just how healthy 2017 was when that information is released …

Moving forward, analysts are expecting “a slight drop in occupancy in South Carolina for late winter / early spring.”  Specifically, February’s statewide occupancy forecast is projected to dip by 2.5 percent from the previous year, while March and April are currently in line to see declines of 2.3 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively.

Stay tuned … this news site will continue to track these critical numbers and provide our readers with the very latest information on the health of this multi-billion dollar industry.  We will also continue to remind policymakers that wasting money on tourism marketing – and imposing anti-competitive taxes on visitors – is a recipe for killing this golden goose.

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