Record-Breaking Year SC

By Jason Raven | February 18, 2019 at 7:58 PM EST – Updated February 18 at 11:06 PM

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – The Blue Marlin opened its doors in 1994.

Partner, Ryan Dukes, said a lot has changed around them since then. “We have grown as a restaurant, as the community has grown.”

The Blue Marlin has seen The Vista become what it is today. The area draws hundreds to downtown Columbia for food and other attractions.

Dukes said he has seen a steady increase over the years of tourists popping in for some grub while visiting Columbia. “We rely strongly on the local community. We see tourism as our voice outside of Columbia.”

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The South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism’s latest numbers show the tourism industry is responsible for $22.6 billion of revenue. A $1.4 billion dollar increase from their last calculation.

Dukes said he isn’t surprised. South Carolina has a lot to offer. “You put it all together, there is a state that in one weekend you can go up to the ocean, up to the mountains and then to the Midlands Area.”

SCPRT said State Parks are getting closer and closer to becoming self-sufficient. These parks generated record amounts of revenue in 2017-18.

They also said revenue per available hotel room has increased by 63% since 2010 in South Carolina.

The new data represents business activity in 2017 and marks the sixth consecutive year of tourism growth in South Carolina.

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