CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Tourism officials want to attract visitors to what they're calling undiscovered South Carolina — rural areas away from such well-known tourist destinations as Charleston, Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head.
A $2.5 million media campaign gearing up next year is aimed at attracting visitors to such lesser-known areas, state Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Duane Parrish said Friday.
While the state also provides marketing funds to the major coastal destinations as well as Columbia and Greenville, state money for the rural destinations will help boost the industry, he said.
"At PRT we have to be more effective with our dollars and rural areas are places where we could do that," he said.
The campaign is designed to help draw tourists to places such as Conway and Walterboro near the coast. Visitors often pass by the areas on their way to more well-known tourist spots.
"There's a lot of Upstate outside of Greenville," Parrish added. "There's the Cherokee Foothills Trail and the Jocassee Gorges and places like that we are in a position to help."
Parish noted that the agency worked with Spartanburg this year to promote the Carolina Panthers pre-season training camp at Wofford College and there was an estimated 30 percent increase visitors.
One undiscovered place is Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site near Summerville, just 20 miles from busy Charleston.