Dear All, 

A recent local news article described how the end is near as we know it for Hilton Head Island due to the influx of visitors.
The media is known for its hyperbolic headlines, but to paraphrase the famous Mark Twain quote, the reports of the island’s demise have been greatly exaggerated — but it does sell papers and garner click-thrus.
Hilton Head Island and Bluffton are thriving communities with much to be proud of on the island as well as the mainland. Are we without our challenges? Absolutely not. But it’s unwise to judge the future of Hilton Head Island or Bluffton as we’ve faced a worldwide pandemic and unprecedented workforce issues nationally.
The pandemic temporarily changed the pattern of tourism. Pent-up demand coupled with stimulus funding and remote working and schooling brought visitors last fall in ways the island had never seen. It also brought those second homeowners who chose to safely spend the pandemic in their island home.
Rest assured the island will fall back into a more regular pattern of visitation. Are summers busy? Thankfully, they are. Are the reports of a crowded island year-round unfounded? Yes. You might be surprised to learn that average year-round visitor occupancy hovers around 50 percent. That’s hardly year-round crowding.
Regardless of reports otherwise, summer-size crowds year-round have never been our goal and never will be. As the town’s designated marketing organization, we’re all about balance…balancing the economic engine of tourism with our quality of life. Every staff member and our board of directors at the chamber are also Lowcountry residents who love where they live and want to protect our way of life and our environment.
I wish each of us could see the Lowcountry through the eyes of our visitors who comment so positively about its beauty and environmental sensitivity. We often forget we live in a place that many only get to experience for a week at a time. We also tend to forget we were once visitors too.
Let’s roll up our sleeves and face our challenges head-on as we’ve always done, but let’s not for one minute forget how fortunate we are to call the Lowcountry home and how bright our future really is.
Make it a great week!


Bill Miles,
President & CEO
Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce