More than a billion dollars. That’s what tourists spent last year in Hilton Head… contributing to the state’s biggest economic driver according to a new study–and we’re already ahead of that this year.
“Occupancy is up the average rate is up, and that all important figure we like to talk about rev par, those two things combined, is up a whopping 17% in the first quarter. So, not only did we have a record-breaking year last year, with over 2.6 million visitors, we are looking at a great year ahead for tourism in the lowcountry,” said Charlie Clark of the HHI-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce.
Clark says last year was a record-breaking year. with occupancy rates up, spending up, and more jobs created continuing into this season.
“I think everyone was pleasantly surprised by such a strong first quarter, the weather’s been fantastic, so leading into the summer season which officially kicks off Memorial Day which is just around the corner, our resort community is ready.”
Chamber officials say their biggest challenge is bringing new visitors, but they’re confident that once they come, they’ll be back.
“Its sometimes difficult because competition is rough. people are looking and booking online, there are a million places vying for visitors. We’re fortunate to have a really high repeat rate, about 70% of people that come to Hilton Head island to the lowcountry, decide to come back again. Its just that classic resort destination.”
Good news all around for the nearly 13,000 people employed by tourism in Beaufort County.
For the complete study go to http://www.hiltonheadislandsc.gov/misc/2015_HHI_Tourism_Report.pdf