State Museum, Colleton Museum win tourism awards

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina State Museum in Columbia and the Colleton Museum and Farmer's Market in Walterboro are winners of South Carolina's tourism awards.

The State Museum this week received the Governor's Cup, the state's highest tourism award, for its 2014 expansion that included a planetarium and observatory.

During 2015, the first full year the expansion was open, museum revenue grew almost 85 percent and attendance almost 45 percent.

The Charles Bundy Award, which recognizes rural tourism, honored the Colleton Museum and Farmers Market. Five years ago the museum was moved into a renovated store front and the farmer's market added.

In its old location, the museum attracted about 5,000 visitors. That's now more than 18,000 a year.

Tourism is now a $19 billion industry in the state.

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