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COLUMBIA, S.C.--Sep. 15--Gov. David Beasley wants to put more emphasis on developing tourism in rural South Carolina, but state officials say that doesn't mean the Grand Strand will be moved to the back burner.
Beasley outlined a new economic development strategy Thursday that puts tourism and the $12.3 billion it generates for the state each year on the same plateau as smokestack industries and manufacturing.
Working from the notion that vacationers pump dollars into the state's economy just the same as BMW or Springs Industries, Beasley has directed the Department of Commerce and the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism to work hand-in-hand to recruit businesses and create new tourist attractions in parts of the state with little economic development. to speak of.
"Our goal is to make sure every region of South Carolina benefits," Beasley said. "A lack of success in rural …