Related Document: Columbia-SC-National-Tourism-Week---5.2011.pdf

Kelly Barbrey




Columbia Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau encourages you to "Be a Tourist in Your Own Town"

COLUMBIA, S.C. - (May 6, 2011) - Columbia Regional Visitors Center (Columbia, SC) joins hundreds of cities, states and travel related businesses nationwide in recognition of National Travel and Tourism Week, May 7-15, 2011. Designated by Congress and established by presidential proclamation in 1983, the event celebrates the value and scope of the nation's $759 billion travel and tourism industry, and its economic and social contributions. National Tourism Week is an annual event organized by the U.S. Travel Association, aimed at promoting the power of travel, enhancing the country's economy, and informing the public of the cultural and social benefits of travel and tourism.

"This week in Columbia we will celebrate the people who visit here, the workforce that provides service for them and the development created as a result. Travel and tourism generates $1 billion in direct spending, brings in three million visitors to our region each year and provides more than 65,000 jobs to the region," said Ric Luber, president and CEO of the Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism, the supervising authority of the convention and visitors bureau, visitors center, sports council and convention center.

Hotels, meeting facilities, attractions, restaurants, shops, and transportation providers are among the local businesses greatly impacted by travel to our region. The industry supports the jobs of nearly one in 10 South Carolinians and provides every household in the state $691 in tax savings annually.

In celebration of tourism and its impact on the community, Columbia Regional Visitors Center encourages locals to "Be a Tourist in Your Own Town" and explore all there is to see and do in Columbia, S.C. with events, promotions and special offers throughout the week. Event highlights include a stop at Columbia Metropolitan Airport to honor airport employees and welcome visitors on Monday; "Funky Chicken Day" with Ernest Lee, featured in the latest issue of Southern Living, at the Visitors Center on Tuesday; "Cab Driver Appreciation" recognizing local cab drivers with a free boxed lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Visitors Center,  Fort Jackson Family Day welcoming friends and families of soldiers, and a "Famously Hot and Cocky" promotion at the South Carolina Gamecocks baseball game all on Wednesday; and even a chance to have your picture taken with the Travelocity Roaming Gnome, who recently toured South Carolina, on Thursday. A full list of events is available at

For more information about National Travel and Tourism Week activities and the "Be a Tourist in Your Own Town" initiative in Columbia, S.C., visit

About Columbia Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau
The mission of the Columbia Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau is to strengthen is to strengthen the area's economy by marketing and selling Columbia, its accommodations, restaurants, facilities and attractions as a destination for meetings, conventions, tradeshows, special events and leisure travel. For more information, visit, "like" Columbia, SC on Facebook and "follow" @columbiasc on Twitter.