In case you missed it — Columbia received the No. 1 ranking as one of the top nine places to live in SC, according to Travel + Leisure, for its central location, landmarks like Lake Murray, popularity with younger generations, and low cost of living.
It seems both residents + tourists enjoy Columbia, because according to some recent data provided by Experience Columbia, the region’s destination marketing organization, visitation increased from 15.1 million in 2021 to 15.8 million in 2022, and visitor spending increased 12% over the previous year to $1.7 billion.
Let’s break down some other tourism stats + we’ll give you ways to get involved and keep the ball rolling as citizens.
- Of the $1.7 billion spent in Columbia, food + beverage spending accounted for $487 million — that’s 29% of each visitor’s budget.
- Transportation, including both air and transportation within the destination, added up to 18% of visitor spending.
Fun fact: Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) recently announced a partnership with American Airlines that offers Soda Citizens a nonstop flight to Chicago. Next time you’re looking to travel, fly local.
- The total economic impact sustained over 22,300 jobs and generated $130 million in state and local tax revenues in 2022.
See our guide on local top employers and industries that contribute to the Midlands’ economic impact.
- Lodging accounted for 17% of visitor spending ($286 million.)
May we interest you in a staycation? Book a stay at the Chestnut Cottage which just reopened or stay at Columbia’s first boutique hotel, Hotel Trundle. Stay up-to-date with Hotel Trundle’s expansion —like the Flutter Wing + The Dens.
Read more tourism stats from Experience Columbia.