Sweet Tea Trail aimed at reeling in visitors

  • Friday, March 7, 2014

Since its debut in October 2013 the Sweet Tea Trail has promoted tours and food in the Summerville area – and, of course, it has promoted sweet tea.

Summerville continues to promote its Sweet Tea Trail – not just to locals but to the nation.

At its Feb. 27 meeting the Summerville Chamber of Commerce reviewed the number of people who have entered the Visitor’s Center so far this year.

In January Summerville‘s Visitor Center received 799 visitors total, including 235 from out of town, 130 locals, 165 people in for meetings and 269 non-registered guests. There were also 11 foreign visitors from Canada, Germany, Australia, England and France.

A total of 30 states were represented during the month. The top three visiting states were North Carolina, New York and Pennsylvania.

Tourism Director Tina Zimmerman said the Sweet Tea Trail is all about bringing not only out-of-state visitors to Summerville, but getting people to stick around in Summerville longer.

One particular part of the Trail that Zimmerman loves is the trolley. Summerville Trolley Tours show off Summerville and the history of the city through four different types of tours, from Good Eats on the Sweet Tea Trail to the Historic City Tour with Timrod Library.

“The Sweet Tea Trail is not about sweet tea,” she said. “We just really want people to experience Summerville. Our visitors from Charleston come for half a day. We want them longer.”

The Sweet Tea Trail starts at exit 199A off of I-26 and takes tourists and visitors through the five districts of Summerville: it begins at Azalea Square then moves downtown, to Azalea Park, Colonial Dorchester State Park and concludes with the Plantation District.

This year Zimmerman is hoping to use social media to further promote the Visitor’s Center and the Sweet Tea Trail. The Chamber’s next tourism meeting will be held March 27 and will focus on social media.

While optimistic about the number of people who have come to Summerville so far this year, Zimmerman said November through January are not the best times to determine any growth.

“We are tracking it closely for this spring traffic to see if the Sweet Tea Trail promotions are bringing folks to us,” she said. “There is an increase in accommodations taxes and that is a good sign of growth in tourism.”

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