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Manager offers advice on how to attract visitors to Landrum

LANDRUM — “A lot of travelers are looking for destinations that aren’t typical tourists spots,” said Rhonda Eldridge, manager of the South Carolina Welcome Center near Landrum.

Eldridge spoke to the Landrum Area Business Association March meeting Tuesday, and offered information about how the Welcome Center could work with local businesses to drive traffic off the interstate and into town.

“I work for the South Carolina Department of Parks Recreation and Tourism,” Eldridge said. “Our goal is to inspire guests to come in [to local towns] and spend money.”

In 2017, the official “door count” for the Landrum Welcome Center was 90,229 people. Of those, Welcome Center staff personally assisted 61,803.

Eldridge said the Welcome Center gave each of the guests a packet of information about things to see and do in Landrum.

“If your business has daily, weekly or monthly deals, email them to us,” said Eldridge. “We will tell the guests.”

Eldridge also suggested that Landrum businesses put together brochures for a packet to be distributed to all Welcome Centers in South Carolina. She said that business members could set up a table during that time.

“Tourism week is coming up May 6-12. You can set up a table at welcome centers,” she said, adding that the LABA could also set up tables during the World Equestrian Games in September.

She ended her presentation by mentioning that Landrum has become part of the South Carolina foodie scene. She held up a brochure about Chef Sarah McClure, co-owner of Southside Smokehouse BBQ and Grill — who was named a South Carolina Chef Ambassador for 2018 — saying that the Welcome Center is posting the brochure throughout 2018 pointing travelers to try Landrum’s restaurants.

Eldridge’s presentation is the first in a series of informative presentations the LABA will offer during their monthly meetings.

Other plans to encourage new membership and more participation in the LABA include “meet and greet” gatherings either monthly or quarterly throughout the year. The first meet and greet will be March 22 at the depot from, 5:30 to 7 p.m.