Clemson International Institute for Tourism Research & Development

Research Project

A Study of the Economic Impact of the 2005 MCI Heritage

Investigators: Sheila J. Backman,(PRTM), William C. Norman (Director, RTTI), Ken Backman (PRTM), Robert Brookover (Sport Management, PRTM), Mark Henry (Applied Economics and Statistics)
Funding Source: Heritage Classic Foundation

In 1999, Clemson University’ Recreation, Travel and Tourism Institute undertook an inclusive study on the impact of the MCI Classic-The Heritage of Golf tournament located on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The results of the economic impact analysis by Dr. Mark Henry found that the tournament (i.e., spectators, the Heritage Classic Foundation and sponsors) had a combined economic impact of $51,792,000 in Beaufort County and contributed 968 full and part-time jobs. The study also provided a profile of the 1999 tournament spectators. Additionally, focus group research by Drs. Ken and Sheila Backman revealed that the Hilton Head Island business and community leaders identified six positive, five negative impacts of the weeklong tournament and made four common suggestions for increasing revenues in the region.

The proposed 2005 MCI Heritage study builds on the economic impact baseline that was developed in 1999 and provides the continuity needed in collecting and reporting economic impact statistics over time. In addition, the expertise developed with the on-site data collection allows for comparable data from the two studies. Clemson University researchers will also collaborate with the MCI Heritage marketing committee and the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce in collecting marketing information beneficial to both organizations. Finally, having conducted the local business and community leader focus groups in 1999, Clemson University researchers will determine if the positive and negative impacts have changed and if the recommendations for increasing revenues have been met.