SC tourism slumps sharply in '09

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - New figures show how badly South Carolina tourism was battered by the Great Recession.

The figures from the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism show tourism was off 8 percent in 2009. Tourism had an impact of $14 billion after years of generally steady growth. The impact was down from about $15 billion the previous year.

Agency spokesman Marion Edmonds said Wednesday the industry has been steadily rebounding and he thinks the loss has been made up by now.

The agency had been using a tourism impact number of more than $18 billion for 2008, a number that included money South Carolinians spent traveling outside the state.

The new lower number doesn't include the outside spending. Edmonds says it provides a clearer picture of tourism in the state.

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