Politics & Government

Ad campaign to draw gay tourists still roiling S. Carolina

A South Carolina tourism official set up a three-day tour of the state to try to win inclusion in a London ad campaign to attract gay tourists.

The campaign — calling the state "so gay" as a destination — was pulled by Gov. Mark Sanford and tourism officials after it was discussed on a political blog. The state also refused to pay the $4,942 cost of the campaign.

Andrew Roberts, the chief executive of the tour company that touted the state as a gay destination, said he toured the state because he initially was skeptical about how welcoming South Carolina would be toward gay tourists. To find out, Roberts said he met with local tourism officials in Myrtle Beach, Charleston and Hilton Head in April.

Marion Edmonds, a spokesman for the state tourism department, confirmed Roberts' visit. He said it was arranged by the same state tourism employee who signed off on the ad campaign. Neither the ad campaign nor the trip was reviewed by state tourism agency executives. The employee has resigned.

Read the full story at thestate.com.