Greenville’s accolades an opportunity to define city’s future
More than ever this year, Greenville has been on the rise as an upcoming tourist destination. There is newfound ownership taken in every step of the process and the end results certainly show.
Social media marketing has opened our city to the likes of “Southern Living” and other well-known destination periodicals, but is it enough to keep us relevant in terms of tourism alone?
With such constant momentum in the media, it is up to all of us, leaders and the community as a whole, to make headlines for our improving health and education systems to add to our value as a welcoming city of opportunity.
At this moment, there are decent odds that a writer, blogger or reporter somewhere in the U.S. is sitting at a keyboard to write a flowery ode to Greenville. Thanks to a downtown revitalization worthy of imitation and a dedication to meticulously planned growth around the Reedy River, the foothills city has become a mainstay on ‘best of’ lists and travel pages in publications across the United States.
Most recently, Greenville landed on US News and World Report’s list of ‘Best Places to Live in America’. It took the no. 29 spot, in a top 50 nearly full of larger cities that had been on the list in the past. It’s also recently been ranked no. 4 for livability, featured on New York Times’ list of 52 places to go in 2017, it made an appearance on ‘CBS Sunday Morning’ on Christmas day and landed on the Wall Street Journal’s list of ‘buzzy places’.
“There are so many of them now,” said Mayor Knox White. “Twenty years ago, we got excited about one article in ‘Southern Living’ magazine and now they’re coming in left and right.” The accolades are appreciated, but White recognizes a certain risk of complacency. “I think where we can run into trouble is when we’re not having that conversation about where we want to be.
”White wants Greenville to use its positive growth to move toward untapped potential in the areas of affordability, a problem he noted most cities deal with when they face rapid growth, and transportation. “I will say we do a lot of things right, but I don’t think anyone would say that Greenville is where it should be when it comes to public transportation.”
Appearances on superlative lists and features in national publications are sometimes a direct result of pitches from the crew at Visit Greenville, the people behind the #yeahTHATgreenville hashtag. Or the accolades follow trips to Greenville made by travel writers and delegations of leaders from other cities.