June 1, 2023
– The New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development
(DTTD) is reporting a robust kick off to the summer season after a busy Memorial Day Holiday Weekend. The three-day weekend is considered the kick-off to the summer tourism season.
This weekend marked the opening for seasonal attractions, entertainment venues, museums and theaters around the state. Reports from these sites as well as lodging properties indicate a significant increase in business from last year. Port City Bike Tours in Portsmouth reported sales and tour participants up over 2022. The Music Hall reported close to sellout crowds for their Saturday night show. Snowvillage Inn reported inn numbers in line with pre-pandemic numbers of 2019; and the Shamrock Motel reported two of the three days as sold out.
New Hampshire State Parks campgrounds were 95 percent occupied; visitors to day-use parks totaled almost 38,000, (that number does not include visitors to the Cannon Mt Tram, Mt Washington State Park or Seacoast parks).
Summer is the state’s busiest tourism season. This summer is expected to draw record crowds, with 4.3 million people projected to visit. Spending by those visitors is expected to reach $2.35 billion.
The state has launched its summer campaign in its core markets of New England and New York; and the road trip markets of Eastern PA and New Jersey; and Montreal and Quebec City in Canada. Visitnh.gov provides road trip inspiration
with itineraries for every region of the state.
For those planning to visit during the summer season, online and advanced reservations for activities and attractions are encouraged. Visitors and residents are also being asked to be practice Leave No Trace Campaign
and help preserve the state’s natural resources for future generations.
Quotes from tourism industry members about the holiday weekend:
CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE/WELCOME CENTERS
Reiley McLaughlin, Tourism Director, Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth
“Memorial Day Weekend in Portsmouth was a smash! Retailers and restaurants reported great numbers of walk-ins with Saturday being the busiest day. J Group reported all three of their lodging properties (Hotel Thaxter, Sailmaker House, and Water Street Inn) were sold out for the weekend with only one room available Sunday night. The Albacore Museum reported they had one of their best days so far this year and a significant increase in tours compared to last year. Overall Portsmouth was busy and full of life this weekend and we were happy to see folks from all over the country and Montreal as well!”
John Nyhan, President Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce
“We had an exceptional Memorial Day Weekend along Hampton Beach and the Seacoast Area. The weather was perfect all weekend, State Parks did a great job managing the beach crowds and all the businesses were extremely happy at the end of their weekend. This weekend was the best in more than five years.”
Amy Landers, Lakes Region Tourism Association
“The Lakes Region had a very busy Memorial Day Weekend. The beautiful weather brought overnight visitors and day trippers to the region. Lodging properties and campgrounds had very high occupancy with some of the weekend sold out. Many of the attractions were up in attendance from the previous year.”
Jaimie Crawford, Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce
“The Mt. Washington Valley had a very strong Memorial Day Weekend, and businesses are predicting that trend will continue throughout the summer. The great weather was an obvious bump to the strong start, but local businesses are noticing interesting guest metrics that are contributing to the weekend's success. In anticipation of a busy summer, the chamber continues to bring awareness to responsible recreation and tourism, through the MWV Pledge, Hire a Guide, and Learn from a Local, Live Like a Local.”
Charyl Reardon, President of the White Mountain Attractions
“This past weekend was a fantastic kick off to summer. Between the rainy spring and the weekend forecast for perfect "summer" weather, it was evident this weekend that folks are still excited and ready to be traveling and be outdoors. Early reports show visitors to the White Mountains region were up an estimated 5% this past weekend and we welcomed guests from across New England, New York, and Pennsylvania. Many businesses reported how nice it was to see an increase in guests from Canada as well. Area attractions and businesses also noted strong and/or record visitor numbers over the past weekend.”
Bonnie MacPherson, Director of Marketing, Gunstock Mountain Resort
“We couldn't have asked for a better weekend, weather-wise, to launch our summer season at Gunstock Mountain Resort. Friday saw a very robust check-in for campers visiting the 250-site campground. Overall, for the weekend, Gunstock saw an increase of 17 percent in the number of campers over the same holiday weekend last year. Gunstock's Adventure Park had a great weekend too, visitation was up 10 percent compared to Memorial Day weekend last year.”
Rob Arey, Marketing Director, Mount Washington Cog Railway
“The fantastic weekend weather was a significant boost to our business. The Cog Railway saw close to a 20 percent increase compared with 2022. We are also seeing close to a 20 percent increase in advanced reservations which is an excellent sign for the summer.”
Veronica Lester, Marking Director, Strawbery Banke Museum
“Strawbery Banke welcomed over 600 visitors over Memorial Day Weekend. This was about a 13% increase in visitation to the Museum for the three-day holiday weekend in 2022.”
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