Key state tourism indicators, including hotel revenue and airport deplanements, increased this fall compared to last year and are also up year-to-date over 2017 numbers, according to the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism.
Hotel revenue per available room, a performance metric calculated by dividing a hotel’s total room revenue by the room count and number of days in the period being measured, increased 4.5% in October compared to the same month in 2017 and is up 1.9% year-to-date. RevPAR dropped 2.4% in September, with numbers depressed because of Hurricane Florence, the tourism department said.
Accommodations taxes from August 2018 business totaled $8.5 million, up 3% from August 2017. Year-to-date collections of $29.6 million are up 4% over the same period in fiscal year 2017-18. Admission taxes reflecting September 2018 business dipped 5.2% year-to-date to $2.9 million but are up 6.1% over the same period in fiscal year 2017-18.
State parks collected $2.7 million in October revenue boosted by Halloween programs, campouts and special events, the department said. Parks collected $2.2 million in September. Year-to-date, parks revenue stands at $11.7 million.
Deplanements at the state’s five major airports increased 5.9% in September 2018 compared to the same month in 2017 and are up 11.5% year-to-date. Charleston International Airport saw a 9.4% increase in September and has seen a 12.5% year-to-date increase, while Columbia Metropolitan Airport saw an 8.2% increase in September and has seen an 8.7% year-to-date increase.
The tourism department is now accepting nominations for the state’s tourism awards. The Governor’s Cup celebrates success in tourism promotion and marketing, while the Charles A. Bundy Award recognized outstanding rural tourism programs. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 18, 2019, and the awards will be presented on Feb. 20 at the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Travel.