WASHINGTON — State and local tourism officials are being flooded by emails and calls from people across the country, saying they won't vacation in South Carolina because they're upset by GOP Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst at President Barack Obama.
The officials said that a number of the out-of-state e-mailers have said they've taken beach trips for years in Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head and other South Carolina resort areas, but don't plan to return.
South Carolina's $1 billion-plus tourism industry, centered around its beaches, had already been hit by the recession as Americans postpone vacations or cancel travel altogether. The state's 11.8 percent unemployment rate is among the highest in the country.
According to a press release by ColorOfChange.org (emphasis added):
The advertising boycott of Glenn Beck has cost the controversial host over half of his estimated advertising revenue since it was launched by ColorOfChange.org a month ago. This according to data analyzed from industry sources.
Estimated advertising revenue [the total amount of advertising money being spent during a block of commercial time for a program] was collected on a week-by-week basis for a period of two months. According to the data collected, the amount of money spent by national advertisers on Beck’s program per week was at its highest at approximately $1,060,000, for the week ending August 2, 2009. ColorOfChange.org launched their campaign at the end of that week and since then, 62 advertisers have distanced themselves from Beck. Data collected for the week ending September 6, 2009 shows Beck’s estimated ad revenue at $492,000, equal to a loss of $568,000.