Haley: SC tourism is at a whole new level

WEST ASHLEY, SC (AP) - South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says the state's $15 billion tourism industry is reaching new levels.

The governor spoke Wednesday at Charles Towne Landing, the birthplace of South Carolina.

She says state tourism is making a strong comeback from the Great Recession, with occupancy up more than 3% over last year and revenues per available room up more than 7%.

Haley noted that the PGA championship meant a $92 million economic boost for South Carolina and that, last fiscal year, state park revenues reached a record $21 million.

Tourism leaders have said that, while this past summer season was strong, tourism still has not quite returned to pre-recession levels. But Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism executive director Duane Parrish said he expects that to happen next summer.

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