The removal of the confederate battle flag in South Carolina Statehouse grounds sees a quick rise in African-American Tourism in the state.
Researchers from the University of South Carolina’s Richardson Family Smart State Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development took a case study in South Carolina’s tourism, and found out that the number of African-American tourists that visit the state has exponentially increased, following the removal of the confederate flag from Statehouse grounds in Columbia.
The study also revealed that nearly half of out-of-state Black tourists expressed their desire to visit the state after the flag’s removal, although, some of them are still wary of visiting the state because of the issue of high racial discrimination there.
“We need to recognize that the fear of racial discrimination is real,” said Simon Hudson, director of the center. “As tourism providers, we need to better understand travelers from a diverse array of backgrounds and be able to cater to their particular interests and needs.”
African-American tourists spawn about $2.4 billion for South Carolina yearly, and the numbers have been increasing since the removal of the battle flag of the confederacy in July 2015. A 5 percent increase in Black tourism would generate about $118 million for the state.
— SPLC (@splcenter) 5 октября 2016 г.
There is a possibility of creating more destinations for African-American travelers to visit, hence the need for more investments in order to keep the place up and running. Hudson stated that most of the places that already exist are situated in communities that are economically depressed.
“It’s not only about bringing in new tourists; it’s about investing in what South Carolina already has and building upon it,” Hudson said.
It’s only natural for Black people to be cautious about visiting a state renowned for racial discrimination; Black American history sheds more light on the issue of segregation and racism in South Carolina. The confederate flag is a symbol of racism, and that’s why it shouldn’t be seen anywhere in the country.