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Hospitality and Tourism

Organizations team up to promote regional tourism

Hospitality and Tourism
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Destination marketing organization Experience Columbia SC is teaming up with Cities of the SEC, a coalition of cities that are home to the schools in the Southeastern Conference, to familiarize fans with regional attractions throughout the SEC’s footprint.

Experience Columbia SC is teaming up with Cities of the SEC to promote regional tourism in locations in the conference's footprint. Columbia is home to Williams-Brice Stadium and the South Carolina Gamecocks. (Photo/File)The partnership stems from the idea that college football fans are familiar with the teams, coaches and rivalries in the conference, but perhaps not as much with the places each of those teams call home, according to a news release.

Staff members at Experience Columbia SC have been working throughout the past year with the SEC on blog content to familiarize fans with the communities surrounding the SEC schools, with the goal of encouraging those who travel for football games to lengthen their stays and experience what each school’s city has to offer.

“Our participation in the Cities of the SEC is such a positive partnership,” Bill Ellen, president and CEO of Experience Columbia SC, said in the release. “We all share similarities in our excitement for SEC sports, but we all also have individual assets and exciting things to promote. This partnership gives each of us the opportunity to share those offerings to visiting fans and enhances the experience when visiting each other’s destinations.”

Other cities in the partnership are Nashville, Tenn.; Lexington, Ky.; Baton Rouge, La.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Gainesville, Fla.; Athens, Ga.; Columbia, Mo.; Bryan-College Station, Texas; Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Fayetteville, Ark.; Auburn, Ala.; Starkville, Miss. and Oxford, Miss.

Staff members at Experience Columbia SC traveled to Atlanta with representatives of some of the other cities in July to participate in SEC Media Days. They sponsored a luncheon for 1,100 members of the sports media at the Chick-Fil-A College Football Hall of Fame, where they presented a collaborative video and handed out stickers featuring a Traveling the SEC suitcase logo.

Christina Lee Knauss is a contributing writer for SC Biz News.

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