Hilton Head Island's brand continues to grow, thanks to new air travel accommodations and national accolades. Being ranked the "#1 Island in the Continental United States" for the 4th year in a row, by Travel+Leisure magazine certainly hasn't hurt. That combined with the 2018 runway upgrades to the Hilton Head Island airport, which gave access to full-sized commercial airliners, is a recipe for serious growth here on the Island.
Before the runway extension to the local airport, only American Airlines was flying directly into the Island. These flights carried a limited number of passengers and were normally connecting flights from close international airports.
Since the runway extension, our local airport added two additional airlines, United and Delta. Not only did they add these airlines, but they also added an array of DIRECT flights to Hilton Head Island. Some of these direct flight locations include Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington-Dulles, New York, Denver, and many more. These direct flights make it much easier for visitors, from new locations, to get to Hilton Head Island.
Let's take a look at the numbers.
As you can see the total number of passengers (Enplanements & Deplanements) has significantly increased in 2019 compared to 2018. A 166,337 passenger (211.1%) increase to be exact, and that's not even including the remainder of 2019.
Being named "The #1 Island Island in The Continental US" has created both national and international attention and demand for the Island. Here's what Travel+Leisure magazine had to say about Hilton Head Island. "This verdant island continues to draw a faithful fanbase, thanks to its idyllic shores (think: frolicking dolphins, nesting turtles, near-empty beaches) and air of sophisticated luxury (consider its prize-winning golf courses and lauded restaurants). Add that visitors can move from one to the other within minutes on a bicycle and ”everyone is aware of and respectful of cyclists,” as one reader observed, and it’s easy to understand why Hilton Head is beloved by travelers craving an effortless getaway. "Love this island! Easy access to a wonderful slice of paradise," wrote another fan. “People are extremely friendly, and the food is to die for!”
Comments like these, from such a know brand, adds to why tourism continues to grow year in and year out.
A 211.1% increase in air travel, paired with attention from huge media outlets, has made Hilton Head Island's dot on the map a whole lot bigger. Expect our local economy to continue growing for years to come.