- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - Attendance was up at South Carolina state parks last year.

Nearly 800,000 more people visited the parks last year, compared with 2013, The Greenville News (http://grnol.co/1yA4KuU ) reported.

The Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department said attendance was up more than 11 percent last year. Officials say about 7.7 million people visited a state park in 2014.

Hunting Island State Park in Beaufort County was the most visited park last year, with nearly 1.4 million visitors. That was an increase of nearly 26 percent.

Myrtle Beach State Park had the second highest number of visitors in 2014, with nearly 1.3 million. That was up 4 percent from 2013.

“Those two parks, which are both right on the water, tend to be the most popular and trade off the No. 1 spot each year,” said Dawn Dawson-House, a PRT spokeswoman.

Revenue for the last fiscal year was up 34 percent over the previous year, said Phil Gaines, director of state parks. Most South Carolina state parks charge admission fees, in addition to other user fees such as cabin rentals and campground stays.

“I don’t think there is any one reason, but one thing that has been very successful in South Carolina is a very aggressive marketing campaign with the ‘Come out and play’ initiative in print ads, social media and on TV,” Gaines said.

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Information from: The Greenville News, http://www.greenvillenews.com

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