Thousands of guests packed out Hilton Head Island beaches, like on Coligny Beach, on Sunday morning. The July 4 weekend was expected to draw a record amount of visitors to the island. There was hardly a space left on Coligny Beach, come Sunday. The Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Regional Chamber of Commerce says this is a good problem to have, in terms of local businesses making money.
“It is absolutely massive. There’s nowhere really to set your beach chairs down, everybody just kind of get in where they fit in which is alright, everybody seems to be having a good time,” said Robert Jackson, a visitor from Macon, GA.
AAA expected 42 million people to hit the road, travelling over the weekend. For Hilton Head, that meant a sold-out weekend for home and villa rentals, and hotel rooms.
“For stores, for restaurants, for hotels, it’s a great weekend for business. You know, our number one economic driver is tourism. So, when all those folks are coming here, it means a healthier economy for all of us and that’s why we’re all so fortunate to live here, it’s tourism that paves the way for all the great amenities that we enjoy all year round,” Charlie Clark, with the Hilton Head Island Chamber told NEWS 3.
Last year, a record number of guests throughout the summer totaled to 2.6 million visitors. Clark says July 4 weekend plays a large role in this.
“A lot of folks coming on this weekend, and a lot of folks discovering Hilton Head Island for the first time, looking for a place to go on July 4, discovering Hilton Head Island, and we know 70 percent of those people will come back to see us, so we like that,” she says.
Several first time visitors promise to return.
“It’s just got a great atmosphere. You get kind of the best of both worlds, you get the shopping, you have the trees, and like I said the bike paths, and then you have the beach as well,” says Jessica Kennedy, a visitor from Atlanta, GA.