Local Viewpoint - Tourism - 8/28

By Ted Fortenberry - bio | email

This weekend is Labor Day, what many call the official end of summer, and for the state of South Carolina, summer is big business.

The current economic environment has had an impact on this business, and as the reports filter in over the coming weeks we will have a better idea of how the region fared in tourism-related revenue.

From our local view, unfortunately, it seems many of our state legislative leaders are clueless about our biggest industry - tourism. They get all giddy when a new industrial plant opens, which is understandable, but when it comes to supporting marketing efforts to recruit vacationers and conventioneers to our beautiful region. They just don't understand the concept of return on investment when it comes to tourism marketing.

Hopefully the legislative delegations from the Grand Strand, Charleston and Hilton Head - the biggest tourism communities - can band together this next session to change this huge level of ignorance in the halls of the State Capitol. It seems our local representatives have allowed other state leaders to use their bully bull pit to stifle the marketing efforts for our state.

If only tourism were to build a big industrial park that the senators and representatives who fight the marketing efforts could see, touch and taste, then maybe they would understand. "Oh... We have hotels, golf courses, resorts and restaurants lining the South Carolina coast providing more capital investment, more jobs and more income for state coffers than any other industry anywhere in the state."

What's so hard to understand about that?

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