Wine and Food Festival brings $8.6M to Charleston economy

Charleston Regional Business Journal
Lauren Radcliffe
April 19, 2012

The 2012 BB&T Wine and Food Festival brought $8.6 million to the local economy, according to a preliminary economic impact study conducted by the College of Charleston’s office of Tourism Analysis.

The final audited numbers will be available in July, but the early figures show across-the-board increases in attendance figures, out-of-town guests, total spending and overall impact.

This year’s impact is up from $7.3 million in 2011, an increase of 17.8%.

The festival was attended by 21,250 guests — up from 19,000 in 2011 — with 38% of those traveling more than 50 miles from Charleston.

Total spending for the festival was estimated at $826 per person, up from $743 in 2011.

“The festival has shown impressive growth over the past six years, rising from $2.2 million in 2006 to the $8.6 million today,” said Wayne Smith, assistant professor at the College of Charleston School of Business.

Angel Postell, executive director of the festival, called the impact exciting, especially given the rainy weather during the festival.

“We were thrilled to move the signature events to the various venues in Charleston and feel they really showcased the city,” Postell said. “The feedback has been extremely positive, and we look forward to showcasing even more of the city in future years.”

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