Dr. David Spittal (center in photo), president of Southern Wesleyan University, center, talks with Kent Dykes of the Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce, left, and Anne Sheriff of the Central Heritage Society during a countywide tourism summit held at the university March 11 at the university’s campus in Central, S.C. The event offered tourism leaders throughout Pickens County, S.C. an opportunity to learn about the work of the county’s new tourism board, as well as to network with other area tourism representatives.
If you have ever visited SWU or Pickens County, you’re one of countless tourists who add to South Carolina’s $16 billion tourism industry. South Carolina tourism leaders met in Myrtle Beach in February to discuss the recovery of the state’s largest industry, which has been affected by the nation’s unemployment rates, high gasoline prices and less disposable income.
In Pickens County, however, the county council has appointed a board of area residents to examine the issue of local tourism and explore ways to attract visitors to the county.
Janelle Beamer, public relations director of Southern Wesleyan University, is among the seven who were appointed to serve on the tourism board. A fixture of Pickens County for more than 100 years, Southern Wesleyan University is part of the county’s heritage tourism, Beamer said. One attraction on the Southern Wesleyan University campus in Central is Freedom’s Hill, a church with a dramatic Wesleyan abolitionist history.
“Pickens County is full of natural beauty and rich in history. Our tourism board hopes to share the Pickens County story with visitors to the area,” Beamer said. “The economy is tough right now, but when things recover, we want to be prepared to attract more tourism to our area than ever before.”
written by Janelle Beamer