Taxpayers paid out $134,000 for a pair of overseas economic-development trips to England and Japan this year attended by Gov. Nikki Haley, according to records released Monday.
The Commerce Department, which had officials joining the governor on the trips, said the trips have not yet produced any jobs or new or expanded plants.
The two trips combined cost less than the $158,000 that taxpayers spent on the trip to a Paris air show by Haley and others in 2011, which generated some public outcry.
The trip to the Farnborough International Airshow outside London in July cost $97,000 about $9,000 less than projected, according to documents provided by the governors office. About 60 percent of that cost, more than $59,000, paid for an exhibit at the show. The Japan-U.S. Southeast Association meeting in September cost $36,880 about $17,000 under projections, according to documents provided by the governors office.
Costs for conference participants were broken down by airfare, hotel, meals and transportation. Other costs listed included conference fees, conference room rentals, luncheons, printing, marketing supplies and a translator.
Haley accounted for $2,814 of the cost of the England trip the third lowest of any member of the states 10-person party, which included two interns from the Commerce Departments European office. Her expenses for the Japan trip were $4,982, including the highest airfare in the eight-person state group. Her office said she flew on an economy comfort coach seat.
First gentleman Michael Haley attended the Japan trip, taking part in several economic-development meetings when his wife had a scheduling conflict, Gov. Haley told The State newspaper in September.
Michael Haley paid his own expenses, state officials said. The governors office supplied a copy of a $1,008 check that Michael Haley made out to the Commerce Department for his share of the Japan trips room, transportation and conference fee.
The governors office also provided a copy of a receipt for a $1,849 airline ticket that Michael Haley paid for with his credit card. The governors office also said the first gentleman paid for meals with his credit card but did not provide receipts.
Michael Haley did not attend the Farnborough Air Show, though he went to Paris in 2011 and paid his own expenses. The governor was criticized for the cost of the Paris trip, and the number of state officials (28) who attended.
The Paris trip yielded one new project and five expansions, Commerce officials have said. Haleys office said it is mindful of the cost of trips.
The governors office always looks for ways to lower costs to taxpayers, spokesman Rob Godfrey said.