LAKE MURRAY SHORES, S.C. — Within the last six months, three major fishing events on Lake Murray have generated more than $6M in tourism according to officials.
And as we head into the busy summer months, life on the lake is what more South Carolina visitors seem to be looking for.
"Sometimes it's word of mouth that's the best advertising," said Miriam Atria, president of the Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board.
According to new data from the Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board, just one fishing tournament from six months ago generated over $21.5M.
"They're watching and following the tournaments, watching them on live tv and so they see an influx of 'Oh, I've got to come in here and buy that bait that they were talking about during Bassmaster cause I'm going fishing tomorrow," Atria said.
Atria explains that this is the river of progress they're looking to ride.
"It creates community excitement, it has community economic impact certainly, obviously not only from the visitors and the fisherman that are coming in, in our restaurants, in our hotels and as I mentioned in our fishing and great outdoors sports outlets, it just multiplies on and on," Atria said.
Local fishing captain Terry Caulder, who grew up on Lake Murray explains his business is booming thanks to the tourism board's referrals and the board's growing budget of over $2.5M to showcase what the lake has to offer.
"(Business), it would have to be better because you've got Lake Murray Country that pumps in a lot of customers," Caulder said. "They get hooked up with the right person and get on the lake, I can assure you they'll come back."
Caulder says he'll be adding double shifts for tours six to seven days a week from June to August.
The Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board is also now preparing for a new steak and fish cookoff with about 100 regional chefs on the dam later this fall.