South Carolina BBQ Trail gains traction in Conway

Published: May. 13, 2014 at 8:35 PM EDT|Updated: May. 13, 2014 at 8:52 PM EDT
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Source: The Official South Carolina BBQ Trail
Source: The Official South Carolina BBQ Trail

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - South Carolina is known for its southern cooking - including its BBQ. The city made the list of the top ten states for BBQ.  A ranking like that, could draw more tourists to our area.

South Carolina is number six on the list, which is featured on Trip Advisor, a site that gets more than 260 million views a month.

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce says lists like that one shows tourists we have a wide variety of food to offer from seafood to BBQ.  Food variety, is drawing tourists to less visited areas, beyond Myrtle Beach, one of those is Conway.

Restaurants like Big D's BBQ Trough say BBQ is a staple of the state and tourists are stopping in to taste what the buzz is all about.

"They're coming from all over.  A lot of people from up north come down here," says Angela Foster, an employee at the restaurant. "They ask how the BBQs made, if we cook it here or if its cooked somewhere else.

This BBQ joint says business proves interest in this cuisine is high and they expect it to keep growing. Something that's helping the growth is the South Carolina BBQ Trail.

The state created the BBQ trail less than a year ago to get more people into the state's BBQ restaurants. It features more than 200 authentic BBQ restaurants, across South Carolina, including Big D's BBQ Trough.

"They've seen us on the BBQ trail and they've come from all different places to eat the BBQ because of the BBQ trail," says manager Matthew Cooper.

Which is one sign, the state's campaign is working.

State leaders say the best indication of interest is through the web, and interest is high.  The website for the South Carolina BBQ trail generated more than 100 thousand visits from the start of the campaign, in the fall.  84 percent of those visits were newcomers.

This puts our BBQ on the radar for more tourists, it also gives people who are just driving through, a reason to stop in our state.  Restaurants like this one say no matter where you go, South Carolina BBQ is one of a kind.

All in all, it hasn't even been a year since the campaign started and its already made a difference in business.

"We've had a lot of customers ask about it and talk about it," says Foster. "Our business has picked up a whole lot since that.

If you want to hop on the BBQ trail:

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