University of South Carolina
Coastal Carolina University
Multiple Industry Partners
The Tourism and Economic Development Center of Economic Excellence was established to encourage research that is directly applicable to tourism in South Carolina, which is responsible for more than $17 billion dollars in spending and employs approximately 10 percent of the state's workforce. The Center's vision is to become the most respected center for tourism research in the Americas.
In conjunction with industry, faculty and graduate students, the Center performs cutting-edge tourism and hospitality-based research and disseminates and grows this knowledge-base through publications, public seminars, workshops, and forums. Above all, the Center makes explicit the local-to-global connections between tourism and economic development and ensures that research is relevant to South Carolina. This will ultimately improve South Carolina's competitiveness as a tourism destination, thus securing sustainable employment in the tourism sector.
The Center's areas of expertise include destination branding and marketing, sports tourism, film tourism, medical tourism, festivals and events, food and beverage services, hospitality operations, customer service, and consumer trends.
The Center's specific goals are to:
The Center is currently working with several regions in South Carolina to develop strategies to identify opportunities to increase tourism and related business opportunities.