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Tourism is New Hampshire’s second-largest industry–if you combine the state’s smart manufacturing and high technology sectors (SMHT). It’s also a clear point of intersection between government and industry, with the state maintaining a number of parks, campgrounds, and historical sites, and nearby businesses in turn catering to visitors’ needs. Given this close relationship, the state provides funding to market New Hampshire to potential tourists. Some of the heaviest marketing efforts are concentrated in Boston, Philadelphia and New York City. Canadian tourists, especially Quebeçois, also make up a sizable number of New Hampshire’s visitors. From the business perspective, “tourism” is a broad term. It encompasses hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail, and arts and entertainment, among other things. So while statewide reports may indicate overall restaurant or retail sales are up or down, the story might be very different in New Hampshire’s main tourism communities. For these places, weather, gas prices, currency exchange rates, and whether they draw visitors for outdoor activities, site-seeing, or shopping could all be factors.Summary provided by StateImpact NH

Pro-Canadian Tourism Group Offers to Help N.H. Businesses Become More Francophone-Friendly

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A New Hampshire tourism group is trying to make local restaurants and businesses more francophone-friendly.

 

Katharine Harrington heads up Bienvenue New Hampshire, which seeks to make a “Quebec business friendly environment in New Hampshire.”

 

She says when French-Canadian visitors come to New Hampshire now, the French pretty much ends with the "Bienvenue" on the state welcome signs.

 

Even the state welcome centers don't have a lot of translated material.

 

"There's an entire wall of brochures about all of the things to do in New Hampshire. And there's one tiny corner that says 'Francais' and it’s got exactly one brochure in it," Harrington says.

 

But thanks to grant funding, Bienvenue is now offering to translate local menus, brochures and websites into French for Sullivan, Coos and Grafton county businesses.

 

"I really think it just says something when we make that extra effort and show that we can speak to you in your own language,” Harrington says. “And honor the fact that our neighbors next door are not native English speakers."

 

Harrington says New Hampshire sees 228,000 overnight French-Canadian visitors each year, while Vermont gets about double that amount.

 

Harrington says interested parties can contact them via email here.

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