The South Carolina Welcome Center Program exists to increase travel expenditures and expand economic development within the state’s tourism industry. The centers offer services simplifying the travel experience for visitors and encourage them to stay longer. Our nationally certified staff are professionals in providing to travelers the inside stories about South Carolina experiences to entice them to make a stop.
Each year, millions of domestic and international travelers and state residents rely on the wide variety of travel services offered at the state’s nine welcome centers. The centers generate millions of dollars annually in additional travel revenue for the Palmetto State through such services as complimentary lodging reservations, complimentary attraction reservations, and proactive one-on-one marketing.
Highly trained staff is available to provide travel advice to visitors from 9 to 5:30 March 1 through October 31 and 9-5 November 1 through February 28, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas, and New Year’s Day. The centers also distribute millions of brochures each year. For guidelines about distributing brochures and/or coupons through the welcome centers, view SC Welcome Center Literature
Distribution Guidelines contact the Visitor Services section of SCPRT at 803.734.0124.
SCPRT has a training and national certification program through which staff learn about all aspects of the state’s tourism product. An integral part of the training is first-hand experience with the myriad destinations and attractions in the state. That experience is gained through a familiarization-training program supported by the tourism industry.
Marketing and Support
Center staff market the state at consumer travel shows in targeted marketplaces throughout North America. Centers also host special events
. Throughout the year, center staff research and compile new industry development data which is disseminated by the agency. In 1990, the centers were incorporated into the South Carolina Emergency Operations Plan, to serve as relief and relocation facilities in a Governor-declared emergency.
South Carolina’s Welcome Center Program is a pacesetter nationally, having earned such awards as the Travel Industry Association of America’s STAR Award for the Most Innovative Program in the United States. The centers’ point-of-sale renovation program also was awarded a Special Judge’s Award for success in three categories—quality service, travel promotion, and tourism awareness—by the Travel Industry Association’s Awards for Excellence.
The SC Welcome Center Program began in February 1968 as a cooperative venture of SCPRT and the Department of Transportation (DOT). The interiors of all 9 centers were recently renovated to incorporate the state’s tourism advertising message through space design, new displays, large visuals, and new furnishings. The visitor reception area of 7 centers has been expanded as part of a program to increase the size of all 9 centers. Meanwhile, DOT is enhancing such exterior features as parking and landscaping.
- Along US 17 Highway in Horry County at Little River;
- Southbound along Interstate 85 in Cherokee County at Blacksburg;
- Eastbound along Interstate 26 in Spartanburg County at Landrum;
- Northbound along Interstate 85 in Oconee County at Fair Play;
- Eastbound along Interstate 20 in Aiken County at North Augusta;
- Southbound along Interstate 95 in Dillon County at Hamer;
- Southbound along Interstate 95 in Orangeburg County at the Santee Cooper Lakes;
- Northbound along Interstate 95 in Jasper County at Hardeeville; and
- Southbound along Interstate 77 in York County at Fort Mill.