Champion yellow flowers

Chad Prosser, ProsserJohnson, LLC


The Tourism Cluster is a perfect example of how cluster strategies can work. In this case, regional strategies are being combined into one overall state strategy for the benefit of the whole industry. In November 2005, New Carolina’s Tourism Cluster Committee, led at the time by Chad Prosser of the South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism office, commissioned a study by international consultant Michael MacNulty of Tourism Development International to complete a Tourism Action Plan. The report’s major recommendations were:

  • TDAs. Create eight Tourism Development Areas which cluster tourism assets around common themes. The initial report recommended 11 flagship projects and some 40 other significant projects in the regions.
  • Tourism Alliance. Form an umbrella organization for the purpose of unifying the diverse components of the tourism industry. This organization could advance the industry by serving as an advocate for issues of industry-wide concern and promoting the exchange of information and ideas.
  • Marketing. Double the money spent on marketing will double tourism revenues within 10 years. By 2020, the industry could be generating $40 billion of gross product for the state.
  • Product Development. Build the tourism base by investing in product development around the state. SC has a strong coastal tourism draw, but there are significant cultural, historical and natural resources around the state.
  • And more. Other report recommendations involved workforce development, access to tourism areas and protecting tourism assets.


The South Carolina Tourism Alliance is a broad-based, statewide organization of entities and individuals dedicated to serving as a voice and catalyst for the various elements of South Carolina’s tourism industry. The Tourism Alliance is focused on tourism’s potential to be a superior product and experience, a nationally exemplary source of jobs and revenue, and a force for positive economic growth across the state. Through vision, strong leadership, investment and collaboration, South Carolina tourism can grow to a $40 billion industry by 2020. Working together and focused on the economic future of the state, the leaders of the Tourism Alliance are spreading the word that South Carolina is an ideal tourist destination.

Reference Library

Success Story

The Tourism Action Plan said that tourism in South Carolina is a "flower waiting to bloom." The study resonated well with the industry, and the SC Tourism Alliance was formed under the brand "Company's Coming" (see video below). 

In order to maximize the state’s potential for tourism growth, SCPRT has contracted with Tourism Development International (TDI) to create a series of Product Development Area (PDA) plans. Drilling down the findings of the South Carolina Tourism Action Plan, the PDA plans identify potential tourism products based on current and emerging visitor trends, input from local tourism industry members, and established best-practices in the tourism industry. When completed, these plans will provide a comprehensive framework for tourism growth statewide, including both long-term and short-term goals for tourism product development.

Learn more about Product Development Area plans t the SC Parks Recreation and Tourism site.

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