Tourism Management & Community Enrichment Plan

Community Enrichment Plan  (IOPThrives!) - To enhance the quality of life and overall experience for all who live, work, and play on the island.

The City of Isle of Palms, in collaboration with Explore Charleston, the College of Charleston, and The McNair Group, is pursuing the development of a Community Enrichment Plan (CEP) using residents’ voices as the main driver of the process. The travel and hospitality industries are vital to the island's identity and economy.

Improving quality of life for residents is one of the main priorities anchoring the city’s Strategic Plan. Residents’ quality of life also plays a significant role in tourism’s success, and it is critical to the community's overall well-being. The city aims to maintain an equilibrium of these key elements for the longevity and prosperity of Isle of Palms.

Community Input

Substantial community input and data will be collected to guide the city on how to productively deal with the complexities and challenges of regional population growth while ensuring Isle of Palms thrives as the most sustainable, family-friendly beach community in South Carolina. Data will be collected through surveys, focus groups and large listening sessions.

The first step in the process is to gather as much information as possible from the community. Residents, business owners and visitors are encouraged to make note of how the city can improve from a residential and tourism standpoint. Please take a few moments to complete the survey.

With the guidance of The McNair Group and city staff, the Community Enrichment Plan will be constructed by the Community Enrichment Task Force. The Task Force, nominated by City Council, include various community members, including residents, business owners and tourism experts. The committee is responsible for developing recommendations to address livability and tourism management and facilitate community enrichment that will benefit the city continuously. 

All collected data and insight will be used to outline recommendations for an ongoing plan that will create improvements that foster livability, sustainability and responsible economic development.

For updates on the Community Enrichment Plan, visit: City Projects

Our Partners 

The project is funded by Explore Charleston through Isle of Palms accommodations tax funds. Research will be conducted by The McNair Group and the College of Charleston.

Explore Charleston

The Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, dba Explore Charleston, is organized as a 501-C-6 not-for-profit destination marketing organization (DMO). DMOs are organizations charged with representing a destination and supporting the long-term development of communities through sustainable tourism marketing and management strategies.

The McNair Group

The McNair Group provides community engagement and organizational development focused on outcomes-based skills for those wishing to differentiate their products, services and behaviors. They are based in Charleston and have served numerous other municipalities and communities in strategy planning and community-building.

College of Charleston Joseph P. Riley Jr. Center for Livable Communities 

As a strategic initiative of the College of Charleston, the center leverages the intellectual resources of the college to support the economic and cultural vibrancy of the City of Charleston and other communities throughout South Carolina and beyond. With access to the resources of the College of Charleston's School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Riley Center strives to be a leader in livable community research, education, and practice.  

Community Enrichment Plan Survey

Full Survey Results Summary

Survey Presentation from City Council meeting on 1/23/24

(presentation begins at 1-hour mark)


  • Full-time IOP residents: 69.18%
  • Part-time IOP residents (8 months or less): 18.75%
  • IOP Business Owner/Proprietor: 2.7%
  • IOP Resident with IOP business: 4.12%
  • Visitors: 5.26%

Overall Quality of Life on the Island

  • 76% say superb or nice quality with a few key areas needing attention
  • 20% say nice quality but it’s declining expressed concerns


  • 82% say very pleased or generally pleased with…Ensuring safety for island residents
  • 81% say very pleased or generally pleased with…Ensuring island’s natural environment and beauty
  • 79% say very pleased or generally pleased with…Providing high quality facilities for social, recreational pursuits, volunteerism and community spirit


  • 58% say room for definite improvements or not meeting expectations with…managing traffic congestion during peak season/hours
  • 44% say room for definite improvements or not meeting expectations with…attending to parking for island beachgoers
  • 36% say room for definite improvements or not meeting expectations with…regulations for STRs under current ordinances

Property Rentals

  • We have a good balance of rental property on the island = 71%
  • We need more attention on the enforcement of our current rental property rules = 69%
  • We need to be more aggressive in curbing any growth of rental properties = 42%

Most Pressing Environmental Issues

  • 46% = stormwater management
  • 37% = beach preservation
  • 29% = water quality (and septic tank issues)
  • 24% = reducing litter
  • 18% = sea level rise

Other Key Areas

  • IOP is appropriately proactive on ensuring that we protect and work to improve our community = 75%
  • Emergency response is a strength for our island = 87%
  • City communications – pleased or generally pleased = 72%

Next Steps

The Community Enrichment Committee has been formed. Committee members were selected by City Council, based on their engagement within the community and expertise in their respective areas of livability & tourism management. 

Didn't take the survey? This Spring, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in upcoming focus groups and listening sessions to voice your concerns and ideas.

Community Listening Sessions

Date: May 29, 2024

Time: 10 a.m.

Location: Recreation Center (Magnolia Room)


Date: June 5, 2024

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Location: Recreation Center (Magnolia Room)


Questions about the Listening Sessions? Text "Hello" to (877) 607-6467 to get connected to a city staff member or call (843) 886-6428.

You can also the City Calendar for upcoming Community Listening Sessions and Focus Groups.

Listening Sessions are available for viewing on the City's YouTube Channel.

View Poll Results from Listening Session 1.


Community Enrichment Taskforce Meetings

Agenda: March 28, 2024

Agenda: April 11, 2024Minutes: April 11, 2024

Agenda: April 25, 2024 - Minutes: April 25, 2024 

Agenda: May 9, 2024    - Minutes: May 9, 2024

Agenda: May 23, 2024  - Minutes: May 23, 2024

Agenda: June 13, 2024 - Minutes: June 13, 2024

Agenda: June 27, 2024 - Minutes: June 27, 2024

 CEP Taskforce Members:

Joe Ready

Beverly Miller

Alex Stone
Bill Skeens

Paige Grimball

Linda Tucker

Susan Hill Smith

Maryanne Chalmers

Rod Turnage

Hugh Swingle

Patsy Hindman

Sarah Vega

Ben Marks