Columbia, S.C. (Tuesday, March 5, 2013) - Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism (MACST), the governing arm over Columbia Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau(CVB), Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center (CMCC) and Columbia Regional Sports Council(CRSC), will launch a community wide monthly newsletter beginning in April.
MACST currently sends a quarterly newsletter to hospitality industry partners working in our region's hotels, restaurants and attractions. The addition of a monthly newsletter, targeted to a wider range of community leaders across the Columbia region in areas of business, economic development and government, will aid in delivering the message of how tourism is a major economic engine for our region, as well as showcase specific examples of how the MACST is leading the charge in increasing attention on the region.

"The newsletter will serve as a communications platform for us to shed light on our overall purpose in the community, as well as the numerous things our four organizations are doing to effectively and continuously promote the Columbia region," said President and CEO of MACST, Ric Luber. 

Featuring highlights and updates from each of the organizations operating under MACST, the newsletter will also include an array of sections focusing on pertinent information taking place during a given month. Notable news and information to date include: 

Columbia SC 63: With an opportunity to develop heritage tourism elements in the Columbia region, The Columbia CVB, in partnership with the City of Columbia and Historic Columbia Foundation, has embarked on a yearlong initiative commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement of 1963. Throughout the year, various events and programs will highlight the courageous and determined efforts by many individuals with ties to the Columbia region. For more information on this initiative or to see a calendar of events, please visit



Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center Wins Top Honors: The CMCC received the 2012 ConventionSouth Readers' Choice Award! This award is selected by meeting planners and presented to visitors bureaus and convention centers that exhibit an excellence in creativity and professionalism within the meeting and convention industry.

Website Redesign: The popular Columbia CVB website is in the beginning stages of undergoing a redesign. Reaching 560,000 unique visitors in 2012, has become the #1 website for key search terms such as Columbia SC Events, Columbia Restaurants, Things to Do in Columbia SC and many more. The website redesign will include upgrades to the calendar of events, the Columbia region's top-ranked calendar, enhanced search capabilities, Google translation for multiple languages and more new features.

South Carolina Governor's Conference on Tourism: In February, the CMCC welcomed Governor Nikki Haley along with tourism officials from across the state to the capital city for a three day conference focusing on tourism initiatives and efforts taking place throughout the Palmetto State.

Hospitality Hotspotters: The Columbia CVB continues its partnership with the South Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association in an effort to educate front-line, sales and marketing hospitality professionals across the region. This affordable, continuing education will hold its next class on March 13 from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. at CMCC. Interested parties can register at

In the Lead: The CMCC and Columbia CVB have worked diligently to attract, secure and bring meetings and conventions to the Columbia region, some of which include:

South Carolina Association of School Librarians 2013 Annual Conference
March 5-8, 2013
800 attendees

Southeastern Affordable Housing Management Association 2013 SC State Meeting
March 12-15, 2013
400 attendees

CUNY 2013 Annual Conference on Human Sentence Processing
March 21-23, 2013
400 attendees

Sporting News Update: During the first two weeks of March, CRSC assisted with major sporting and participant based events including Columbia SC Marathon, The Color Run and South Carolina High School League Basketball State Finals.

"The entire Columbia region is alive with exciting events, many delicious new restaurants, world class attractions, a vibrant and active arts scene, meaningful initiatives and so much more," said Luber. "This newsletter will keep individuals across our lively area connected, engaged and informed."

Those interested in receiving the monthly Midlands Authority newsletter can sign up

About the Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism:
The Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism is a private, not-for-profit corporation funded primarily by revenue generated by visitors through accommodations taxes and is the parent organization of the Columbia Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, and the Columbia Regional Sports Council. The mission of the Midlands Authority is to strengthen the area's economy by marketing and selling Columbia, its accommodations, restaurants, facilities and attractions as a destination for meetings, conventions, trade-shows, special events and leisure travel. For more information, please visit