Are National Tourism Accolades Good for Industry?

The rankings have been rolling in at a dizzying pace. It’s tough not to let it go to one’s head when Conde Nast Traveler  readers dub  you the Top U.S. City in the nation, and then come back and name you third best in the world. We’d just recovered from a swoon when Travel + Leisure magazine named this America’s #2 best city.

We credit the Boeing effect for turning the world’s attention to our region — and the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau for working 24/7 to make it an awesome location to visit.

Those 2011 rankings preceded a strong January, when the world’s attention turned to South Carolina, and specifically Charleston, where media flocked to cover the Republic primary. As a result, viewers worldwide enjoyed broadcasts from famous breakfast spots, a lunch-time rally in the heart of the College of Charleston campus with favorite son Stephen Colbert, and frequent tweets from CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who favored King Street and the Battery.

Iit’s enough to make one blush. And it’s all certainly great news for Charleston’s regional tourism business.

Surprise: it’s great news for economic developers, too.

Photo courtesy The Ocean Room at Kiawah Island Resort

Increasingly, the world is catching on to something we economic development pros have long known: strong amenities and a high livability rating make a powerful case for locating a business here.

Here’s how it works: a unique company has engaged in a long search has narrowed down to a handful of potential locations. It seeks a place as special as it’s company, and people.

Region A has solid infrastructure, access to world markets, a work-ready employment force, and plenty of other attributes. Region B has all of that, plus world-class restaurants, Five-star hotels and restaurants, PGA-worthy golf courses, beautiful land and cityscapes , and more.

Which would you choose?

The CRDA’s business development pros and marketing staff can attest to how well the region’s great lifestyle – In combination with a full quiver of business attributes – makes it a hotspot for business.  Every year, we host dozens of visiting executives, site consultants, national and international media and others to the region, to showcase both its brains and its good looks. Our award-winning restaurants and attractions serve as the backdrop.

 And when it’s time to say goodbye, and we cry “y’all come back,” we are pretty sure they will.
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