COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WVOC) - South Carolina's tourism industry has bounced back after the Great Recession, with visitor spending reaching a record $16.5-billion in the state.
Data released to The Associated Press by the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism shows that spending in 2011 was up almost 10% from the previous year.
The release of the figures from the U.S. Travel Association generally lags about a year or so behind the year they were recorded.
State tourism director Duane Parrish attributes part of the improvement to pent-up demand by people who didn't travel because of concerns about the economy.
The figures also show that about 53% of tourism spending in 2011 came from visitors from other states.
Five percent came from international travelers.