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avatar for Duane Parrish

Duane Parrish

South Carolina Parks Recreation and Tourism
Director
Duane N. Parrish is the Director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism (SCPRT). Parrish has dedicated more than 40 years of his professional career to the hospitality industry, including extensive experience in hotel property management and development throughout South Carolina.


Parrish was appointed to his current cabinet position by then-Governor Nikki Haley in 2011 and re-appointed by Governor Henry McMaster in 2018. As Director of SCPRT, Parrish has led South Carolina’s tourism industry through continued positive development, resulting in seven consecutive years of record-breaking economic growth (2013 – 2019). Parrish helps advance the state's tourism economy through domestic and international branding and marketing, sports tourism partnership and destination development, film and television project recruitment, and tourism and recreation project development. Under his leadership and direction, South Carolina State Parks has achieved an unprecedented 99% operational self-sufficiency. Parrish is also responsible for initiating renovations to modernize and innovate the state’s Welcome Center facilities, the front porches of Palmetto State hospitality.

Prior to his appointment as Director of SCPRT, Parrish served as President of Premier Hospitality Group, a hotel management and development firm. Parrish has also held several senior management positions within the hotel industry at distinguished organizations including Promus Hotels (now Hilton Hotels), Holiday Inns, and Hampton Inns. Parrish has opened, operated, or renovated 19 hotels, ranging from a 32-room independent inn to a 260-room full-service hotel. His hospitality experience also includes management of the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

A graduate of the University of South Carolina in Business Administration, Parrish has served as an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston and Trident Technical College teaching hotel management and hospitality courses. He is a former Chairman and active member of the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association. Parrish also serves on the Board of Directors of the US Travel Association. He is the immediate Past Chair of the National Council of State Tourism Directors – an organization who named him the 2019 State Tourism Director of the Year.