Destinations

Has Charleston, S.C. Become Too Successful at Tourism?

Excerpt from Washington Post

Dec 22, 2013 7:00 am

Skift Take

Tourism can change the fabric of a city, which is why Charleston’s efforts to limit cruise ship visits has become such an issue in the town.

— Jason Clampet

Evolving Strategies in Travel Ad Tech and Bookings

Randall Hill  / Reuters

Tourists take photos around the trunk of the Angel Oak tree in Charleston, South Carolina. Randall Hill / Reuters


The readers of Condé Nast Traveler agree: They’ve voted Charleston, S.C., the top destination in the country three years in a row …

The number of people visiting the city annually grew 17 percent in a recent four-year span, reaching 4.8 million in 2012. Which, shall we say, dwarfs the permanent population of . . . 125,000.

And that has brought Charleston to the precipice of change. But I wonder: Can a city remain a hidden gem if its crown jewels have been splashed in detail across the pages of international publications? Can a place whose allure resides in quaint, narrow streets, historic buildings and pristine beaches maintain its appeal when millions more demand a perfect viewing?

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