Moving in fits and starts, Abbeville’s latest economic development group reached half of its initial fundraising goal. 
The Abbeville County Tourism Coalition, formed in late 2013, has about $7,500 raised of a $15,000 goal, according to Ken Tinsley, former acting chairman of the group. Tinsley said the funds come from a variety of businesses, municipalities and other stakeholders interested in promoting tourism in the county.
“We realize funds are slim and it’s hard for anyone to come up with money, especially for something that’s in the early stages,” Tinsley said. “But it’s coming from a need to do better when it comes to tourism.”

Paul Gilbert, former administrator with the town of Calhoun Falls and another member of the coalition, said the group’s early goal is to provide a strategic plan for tourism in the county similar to the plan Gilbert helped produce in Calhoun Falls.
“That way we have a complete assessment of who the stakeholders are, what their needs are, what we and the stakeholders can do to promote tourism here,” Gilbert said.