The Governor’s Cup for tourism today went to four agencies that helped land Southwest Airlines a year ago in the Lowcountry and the Upstate.

The 47th annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Travel in Greenville awarded the trophy to the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Charleston International Airport, Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Greenville-Spartanburg Airport for the recruitment of Southwest Airlines, which started serving South Carolina last March.

Between February 2011 and January 2012, combined passenger traffic at Charleston International Airport and Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport increased by 532,128 passengers.

“We were successful in partnering with Southwest Airlines because of a united statewide and community-driven collaboration that showcased everything South Carolina tourism has to offer travelers,” S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell said.

“From the Upstate to the Lowcountry, Southwest saw the widespread level of commitment and passion our state has for economic development and our eagerness to build long-lasting professional relationships,” Harrell said. “Receiving the Governor’s Cup for Travel and Tourism is a true gem, but for us, the golden crown is the additional 750,000 annual airline seats now destined for the Palmetto State. This greatly expands our tourism reach and adds to the millions of visitors coming to our state every year because of our great people, beautiful natural resources and thriving businesses.”

Also at the luncheon, the S.C. Hospitality Employee of the Year Award was presented to Rick Burton, chief concierge at Charleston Place Hotel, for exceptional customer service.