CHARLESTON, S.C. – The centennial celebration for the National Park Service will include, among other events, a promotional campaign, a TV series and an I-Max movie, tourism leaders from across the Southeast learned Wednesday.
About 200 industry representatives attending a meeting of the Southeastern Tourism Society got a sneak peek at what’s planned for the celebration of the anniversary. The National Park Service was created on August 25, 1916.
They saw a brief video outlining a centennial campaign called “Find Your Park” designed to introduce a new generation of Americans to the 401 national parks.
Plans also include a social media component where people can share park experiences while leading celebrities, performers and writers will be enlisted in the promotion. The effort will officially be kicked off next spring.
Park Service Ranger Frank Slaughter said the video was being shown publicly for the first time. The Park Service announced it was planning the celebration earlier this year as it unveiled new logos.
The society includes industry representatives from a 12-state region reaching from Alabama and Arkansas to the Virginias. It was created more than 30 years ago to find ways to co-operatively bring visitors to a region where tourism generates an estimated $210 billion annually.
Slaughter is the superintendent of the recently created Southern Campaign of the American Revolution Parks Group.
The group includes three National Park sites in South Carolina – the Cowpens National Battlefield, the Kings Mountain National Military Park and the Ninety Six National Historic Site – as well as the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail.
Slaughter said the 75 national parks and heritage areas in the Southeast attract about 54 million visitors a year who mean $3 billion to the economy.