Columbia, S.C. – At a recognition event celebrating the Palmetto State’s $29 billion tourism industry, Gov. Henry McMaster proclaimed May 7-13, 2023 is Travel and Tourism Week in South Carolina.
His announcement aligns with the nationwide celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), which spotlights the critical impact tourism has on our economy, our communities, and our workforce.
“In the Palmetto State, hospitality is just part of our way of life, from the tidal creeks of the Lowcountry to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains,” said Gov. McMaster. “People from all over the world are visiting and falling in love with our state. Employers are creating new jobs, entrepreneurs are opening new businesses, and companies are deciding to relocate here – and tourism plays an important role in giving those businesses and families their first impressions of our great state.”
At the celebration, leaders from some of South Carolina’s biggest destinations, most popular attractions, and busiest airports joined small-town tour guides, Chef Ambassadors, state park rangers, and other industry guests.
“Our industry offers opportunities for so many career paths, so it’s not all that surprising that one in 10 jobs in South Carolina support tourism,” said Duane Parrish, director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism. “We’re a powerful driver of economic progress, historical preservation, and even conservation, and you can see that in more communities across the state today than ever before in our history.”
“We hope you will join us this week in celebrating the family-owned bed and breakfast, the legendary beachfront restaurant, the laidback mountain town brewery, or your favorite local golf course, museum, or park,” Parrish continued. “All of these businesses, and the teams behind them, help create a unique sense of place that make our destinations from the mountains to the coast so desirable. These businesses aren’t just locally loved – they imprint on the hearts of our visitors, who bring their dollars to our small towns and big cities, and leave with lasting memories of what makes our homes so special.”
Representatives from some of the state’s top culinary and hospitality and tourism programs also attended, and Dr. Robin DiPietro, Director of USC’s School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, shared how today’s students are helping move travel forward in South Carolina. “From the future chefs studying at The Culinary Institute of Charleston to the future hotel executive being cultivated in our classrooms at USC, students in hospitality and tourism-related programs across the state represent the future of this industry,” said DiPietro. “When you consider the creativity, talent, dedication, passion, and compassion you’ll find in these students, it’s impossible to not be optimistic about our next generation of hospitality and tourism leaders.”
Celebrated annually during the first full week in May, NTTW was created by Congress in 1983 to elevate the economic power of travel in the US. The theme of the 40th annual NTTW is “Travel Forward,” highlighting travel’s essential role in stimulating economic growth, cultivating diverse communities, creating fresh job opportunities, inspiring new businesses, and uniting millions of Americans in a fundamental connection — travel.
South Carolina media members are encouraged to reach out to local travel and tourism-related businesses to help spotlight and celebrate the people who fuel the industry around the state. Find more tools and resources to celebrate the recognition week in our dedicated South Carolina Toolkit.
Explore the official tourism site of South Carolina and discover all the rich history, sandy beaches, and family attractions a South Carolina vacation has to offer at DiscoverSouthCarolina.com. Visit ustravel.org/NTTW to learn more about National Travel and Tourism Week.
View the Travel and Tourism Week Proclamation