Tourism agency takes over SC welcome centers, plans renovations

File image of the Dillon Welcome Center

South Carolina's nine welcome centers are getting a new look, after the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism takes over operation from the state transportation department.

The State newspaper reported that more than $3 million will be redirected to the tourism department from the transportation department to operate the welcome centers.

Tourism department spokesman Marion Edmonds says about $1 million will be spent to renovate the centers. The tourism agency is getting money that originally had been set aside to attract filmmakers to South Carolina.

Tourism department employees already were involved in welcome centers but now will have control of them, maintaining, renovating and replacing facilities as needed.

More than 1 million visitors were helped by staff members between July 2012 and July 2013.