Charleston Women Summer 2020 | | 12 - CW feature starts with someone choosing to spend the night here.” She explained that our area benefits from diverse options, like beaches and a downtown area that can appeal to a variety of groups, from business meeting opportunities to vacationers. Hill also noted that the area’s outdoor-related venues are the ones that sold out first this summer. “When you think about taking your family somewhere now, you want to be outside in a kayak or something similar. It’s great for our community because we have a lot of that product.” Currently, the CACVB is focusing more on the drive market than the air market, since COVID-19 has caused a significant decrease in air travel. Pre-pandemic, Hill and the CACVB defined the drive market to be within a four-hour driving radius, but in the current market, their research shows the drive market range has doubled — people are now eager to drive up to eight hours to visit our charming locale. “Balancing the safety and security of our visitors is the most paramount,” she continued. “People are asking about cleanliness and safety for restaurants and attractions and hotels; the average person on the street doesn’t know that restaurants and hotels have the same DHEC standards as hospitals. It’s been rewarding, in our industry, when people find out what we already do.” Though the future is hard to predict when dealing with an unprecedented global pandemic, Hill and her team look toward it positively and realistically. “I think 2020 will be a year we would all like to forget, but I do think that we will come back strong in 2021 if there is a vaccination or if the virus becomes more controlled,” she said, adding that one challenge will be having people become used to a new normal of washing hands frequently and wearing masks. “The good part is that, unlike a hurricane, we’re not having to physically build back; that’s hard after any kind of storm, with beach erosion and buildings damaged. We’re lucky that all the things that make us who we are are still here.”. Hand poured in Mount Pleasant We are your local, independent bookstore. 761 Coleman Blvd., Ste B Mount Pleasant, SC 843.654.9449 • Open Mondays -Saturday 10-6 Sunday 12-4 Free Local Delivery & Curbside Pick Up Available “A lot of people are still interested in our community — the pipeline hasn’t exactly slowed down, it’s just changed.”