Tourism Works For Us

Economic Impact of Tourism


Coastal Carolina University estimates tourism accounts for a $6.3 billion economic impact and another $1.9 billion in labor impact and 73,500 jobs throughout our local community. Key statistics from our local market are:

  • Tourism accounts for 73,500 jobs throughout the Grand Strand. The tourism industry creates 53,733 jobs directly, and an additional indirect/induced 19,803 jobs.
  • $829 million spent at Grand Strand food & beverage businesses throughout the Grand Strand are attributed to visitor spending.
  • Horry and Georgetown counties combined generated $11.0 billion in retail sales in 2014, accounting for almost 6.5 percent of the state’s retail sales much of which came from tourism (source: S.C. Department of Revenue).
  • Horry and Georgetown generated over $10.0 million in admissions taxes in 2014, almost half of the state’s total admissions tax collections (source: S.C. Department of Revenue).
  • Horry and Georgetown generated more than $22.3 million in accommodations taxes in 2014, more than one-third of the state’s total accommodations tax collections (source: S.C. Department of Revenue).

For more information regarding the economic impact of tourism on the Grand Strand, click here.


A recent study prepared for the South Carolina Parks Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT) agency by the United States Travel Association revealed that domestic travel accounted for a direct economic impact of more than $11.0 billion annually and created 114,000 jobs. Key findings from that study include:

  • Domestic travelers directly spent $11.5 billion in South Carolina during 2013, up 3.6 percent from 2012.
  • Domestic travel-generated employees in South Carolina earned nearly $2.1 billion in payroll income during 2013, a 2.2 percent increase from 2011.
  • Domestic traveler expenditures directly generated 114 thousand jobs within South Carolina in 2013, a 2.4 perctent increase from 2012. These jobs generated by domestic traveler spending in South Carolina composed 6.0 percent of the total state nonagricultural employment in 2013.
  • On average, every $101,296 spent by domestic travelers in South Carolina during 2013 generated one job.
  • Domestic traveler spending in South Carolina directly generated nearly $1.6 billion in tax revenue for federal, state and local governments in 2013, up 3.8 percent from 2012. The total tax revenue increase is largely driven by growth in federal payroll income tax, local property tax, and state sales tax.


National tourism is one of the world’s largest industries, employing millions worldwide. The United States Travel Association estimates domestic and international leisure and business travelers spent $928 billion in the U.S. in 2014 and created more than 15.0 million jobs.

For more information on the USTA and its economic impact study, click here.

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