Beaufort garners national publicity - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

National awards give Beaufort high publicity value

Robb Wells, tourism division executive for the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce Robb Wells, tourism division executive for the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce

Beaufort is quickly gaining a national reputation as a charming coastal community.

Just this month, Southern Living magazine recognized Beaufort as Best Planned Communityamong its 2013 home awards.

It's the latest of many awards to garner publicity for the town.

Magazine and newspaper articles such as are helping to put Beaufort on the map and bring visitors to the area.

Since Coastal Living named Beaufort as America's Happiest Seaside Town in May, it has sparked the interest of other major publications.

USA Today published its own version this month which circulated through thousands of newsstands nationwide.

The story caught the attention of many tourists like Rick and Debbie Roder who came to Beaufort on a whim.

"We were in Columbia visiting family and had one extra day to spend in South Carolina. We were going to go to Charleston because we love Charleston but we read the article in USA Today," said Roder.

The Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce has been tracking the success of these articles and says the payoff is tremendous.

"The Happiest Seaside Town value, as a whole, is worth about $800,000 worth of publicity value, the spin offs that we've received say from the USA Today article, has a value of about $93,000 but that conversion is priceless," said Robb Wells, tourism division executive for the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce.

By publicity value, it's more than $800,000 the Chamber didn't have to spend on advertising to achieve the same results.

"But more than that, it keeps Beaufort as the destination in the forefront of travelers, you know, they're making their travel plans," said Wells.

Add to that Beaufort this month earning Southern Living Magazine's distinction as being the Best Planned Community for the work done to transform the Historic District's Prince Street into a thriving community.

So far, more than 35 people from out of town have stopped by the Beaufort Visitors Center within the last week thanks to the publicity coverage.

Movie companies are liking what they see in Beaufort. As WTOC previously reported, two independent movies are set to film in Beaufort soon: "Route 65 Nashville" will start shooting this month and "My Brother, Your Outlaw, the Waylon Jennings Story" at the beginning of next year.

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