Helen Hill

President and CEO, Explore Charleston

Helen Hill is the President and CEO of Explore Charleston (also known as the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau). The nonprofit organization represents over 800 member businesses and ten local governments in the tri-county region with the mission to create overnight visitation and support responsible development through travel and tourism strategies.

Growing up in Charleston provided Hill with unique insights she has put to use throughout her more than 30 years of promoting the region as a leisure and business destination.

Under Hill’s leadership, Explore Charleston has developed industry-leading programs that have assisted the Charleston area in becoming one of the most acclaimed destinations in the country.

Accolades include a current eleven-year run as Best City in the United States as voted by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler and ten consecutive years being named Top U.S. City by Travel + Leisure. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the local travel and hospitality industry generated a record $10.7 billion economic impact for the Charleston region in 2021.

In 2019, Hill was elected the first female Board Chair of the Charleston County Aviation Authority. Her efforts in air service development over the last decade were instrumental in expanding Charleston International Airport’s route map, including the recruitment of Southwest, JetBlue, Alaska, Breeze, Spirit, Allegiant, Frontier, Silver and British Airways.

Hill serves on numerous regional and national boards, including US Travel Association, Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, the Gaillard Management Corporation, and multiple statewide tourism organizations.

For her record as a civic and community leader, commitment to the tourism industry, and contributions to South Carolina’s economic development, Hill was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian honor. Ms. Hill also received an honorary doctorate from the College of Charleston for her work in the community.

Hill is a faithful alumna of Ashley Hall School and Clemson University. She is married to Charlestonian Burrow Hill, a retired contractor, and has three sons, Charlie, Martin, and Turner.