- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 19, 2019

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina officials say new data show tourism has been responsible for $22.6 billion, marking six consecutive years of record-breaking growth for the industry in the state.

News outlets report that South Carolina’s tourism director, Duane Parrish, announced the latest figures Monday afternoon in Columbia at the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Travel. The $22.6 billion represents visitor spending in 2017, and is a $1.4 billion increase from the previous year.

Parrish says state parks generated record amounts of revenue and have become almost entirely self-sufficient.

He also says $1 million will be allocated this year for promoting South Carolina as a fall destination, especially on the coast. He says that over the past four years, hurricanes and flooding have set direct tourism spending back by about $321 million.

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