SC to highlight nature's gems to expand tourism

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina officials want to highlight some of the state's little-known natural resources in a bid to grow its $15 billion tourist industry.

A group of lawmakers, state officials, researchers from the University of South Carolina and supporters from Duke Energy are scheduled to announce their plans Wednesday.

Supporters of the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor say the initiative also focuses on helping tourists learn about and enjoy the state's many outdoor recreational sites.

University of South Carolina researcher Rich Harrill is launching a study of the state's four national scenic roads as a magnet for increasing visitors to the state.