Tourism authorities in Charleston and South Carolina are expecting a big windfall in direct visitor spending as the state’s Kiawah Island Golf Course prepares to host this week’s US PGA Championship.
The tournament, one of golf’s four majors, is expected to generate around US$92 million in tourism expenditure and a further $75 million in television exposure as it reaches an estimated worldwide audience of 580 million viewers, Associated Press reported.
And better still, local authorities anticipate the impact will be felt for many years to come.
“It just reflects very positively on the entire community,” Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau deputy director Perrin Lawson said.
“It’s the kind of thing you can leverage and talk about for years to come.”
According to AP, researchers at the College of Charleston have estimated that the event will attract nearly 50,000 visitors, with the more affluent travelers expected to stay in the Charleston area for 4.3 days, splashing out around $345 per day.
Spending by players, caddies, their guests and the media is predicted to bring total expenditure to around $92 million.
With digital technology allowing television viewers to watch both the closing weekend of the Olympics and the PGA, Mr Lawson said he did not think the London Games would negatively impact viewership.
And once the championship is over, he believes the tournament will continue to draw visitors to the area.
“Kiawah still gets a lot of people coming in to play because of the Ryder Cup in 1991,” he explained.
“Interest in Charleston as a golf destination will increase.”
Tourism generates about $15 billion a year in South Carolina.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H