Capital City/Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board Annual Meeting Reports Record Tourism Numbers

Columbia, S.C. – The Capital City/Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board’s (CCLMC) Annual Meeting was held on Monday, August 28 at Harbison Theatre. The meeting provided an opportunity for the tourism community and political allies to learn what the organization accomplished in 2022-23 by promoting tourism and economic development in Richland, Lexington, Newberry, and Saluda counties.

For over 16 years, CCLMC has produced a national TV ad that airs all across the U.S. This year it went international on Careco TV through the reruns of the XVI World Bass Championship along with airing on various television shows and over 6 fishing tournament events shows. “Recently the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts selected our TV ad for the 2023 Communicator Award. This award serves as a strong validation that what we are doing is resonating with visitors and our industry,” stated Miriam Atria, President/CEO of CCLMC. She went on to include that “Bassmaster has named Lake Murray #1 “Best Southeastern Bass Lake” and #4 in the US in their 2023 100 Best Bass Lakes Revealed list.”

The organization’s marketing investment continues to pay off resulting in over 200 articles published on the region resulting in over 409 million impressions.

CCLMC had a bustling year hosting thousands of Anglers, family members, and fans during the Bass World Championship. For the first time on US soil, 25 nations came together and the region delivered! CCLMC also hosted the SC Welcome Centers Conference and the SC Congressional Fam Tour – all in the month of October 2022. The impact continued into 2023 with CCLMC hosting Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour and Bassmaster Elite Series resulting in a combined economic impact of $6 million along with national TV coverage on Fox Sports 1 featuring Dreher Island State Park in Newberry County. Other significant events hosted by CCLMC include the Queen City Kayak Bass Fishing Tournament, the Lexington County Ag+Art Tour, Golf media writers, and the Jewel Tri. Additionally, CCLMC reported that over 170,000 room nights were booked in 2022-23 and $37 million in revenue was generated by short-term rentals. More travelers stayed in short-term rentals this June than any June on record. Demand nights rose over 14% from the previous year and revenue from June 2022-23 increased by $1 million. Stays in June 2023 resulted in $4.6 million in revenue equal to quadruple the rentals of Lakes Marion, Moultrie, and Norman combined.

2023-24 will prove to be an even more successful year bringing 2 of the top 3 fishing tournament trails to the region (soon to be announced), one that we can announce is the USA Bass Kayak Tournament,” stated Vickie Davis, VP of Special Events & Funding at CCLMC. Additionally, CCLMC will host Fishing University, BAMA Q Steak Cook-off, the SC Outdoor Press Association, Bass Nation and the Queen City Kayak Championships. Save the date for Taste of Lake Murray on March 21, 2024, at the DoubleTree by Hilton. This annual event is the signature fundraising event for the 4th of July Celebration on Lake Murray.