Tourism

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire is laying out a potential phased plan for resuming normal operations at state parks and other outdoor recreation sites, with new controls to protect public health.

Most state parks have remained open and well trafficked, including by out-of-state visitors, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, many public and private campgrounds, beaches and other amenities and attractions have closed.

Courtesy Samantha Searles

When Sam Searles was a kid, she and her family visited Santa's Village and Story Land every summer. Both of these North Country amusement parks have been attracting visitors since the 1950's, even before Disney Land opened its doors.

Last summer, Story Land threw "Nostalgia Night," an event that offered the chance for adults to revisit their childhood memories. Sam returned to both parks and reflected on what it means to pursue the past.

Listen to this episode of Second Greatest using the player below, or subcribe to the podcast for free on Apple Podcasts (or wherever you get your podcasts) and never miss an episode!

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Visitors to New Hampshire are expected to spend more than $1.5 billion in the state this fall.

The New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development projects that more than 3 million out-of-state, overnight visitors will spend time in the state this fall season.

Fall is New Hampshire's second-largest travel season, behind summer.

The division's fall marketing campaign highlights activities such as hiking, leaf peeping, agritourism, dining and shopping.

Sara Willa Ernst / NHPR

Marc Burrell, an Airbnb host in Laconia, describes his listing as a ‘no-frills room.’ It’s a spare bedroom in his house, which is a few blocks from downtown and a stone’s throw from Lake Winnisquam. And the room has been nearly booked solid all summer. 


Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A busy waterfront, the shipyard, Pease, restaurants, those iconic bridges, and a rich-but-fragile environmental landscape are just some of the things that put Portsmouth so boldly on the map.

During live interviews Tuesday, All Things Considered host Peter Biello and guests discussed some of what Portsmouth has going for itself, as well as a few challenges.

The live show was at Portsmouth Book & Bar, with Mayor Jack Blalock the first of five guests. 

Sara Ernst / NHPR

At Weirs Beach in Laconia, a sign in big block letters reads “Warning... Swim at your own risk.” More than halfway through the summer, beach-goers are swimming in the bay, while the lifeguard stand remains empty.

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

 

If you drive Route 4 through Northwood, you pass a cluster of colorful cabins by a small lake: the Cottages at Harvey Lake. Generations of travelers have gone there to relax, despite it being just a stone’s throw from one of the busiest roads in the state.

Is the North Country moving towards an ATV-based economy? And if it is, what does that mean for residents who aren't sold on the idea? 

Justine Paradis

Is the North Country ready, willing, and able to shift from a timber-based economy to a tourism-based economy?

Hundreds of business are in D.C. opposing tariffs this week, so how will trade discussions with China and Mexico, among other places, impact New Hampshire?  Also, we have a preview of the state's lucrative summer tourism season, and discuss what the Federal Reserve might do with interest rates. 

Over the last few months, here at Word of Mouth, we've asked listeners to send us their questions about northern New Hampshire.

In the first episode of our North Country Series answering those questions, we cover the basics: Where exactly does the north country begin, how has the economy adjusted to the decline of paper mills, and what makes this part of New Hampshire so unique? 

When you think about civics and government, you probably think about voting and politicians, but the government touches every part of your life from birth to death. Today, we look at birth. What does it take to be born an American citizen? And then, once you are, how do you prove it?

Then, the story of how tourism on Mount Washington became a model for mountain tourism nationally.

SQUIRREL FLIGHT VIA FLICKR/CREATIVE COMMONS: HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/SQUIRRELFLIGHT/1355544138/IN/PHOTOSTREAM/

Some cities and towns in New Hampshire have long said they should be able to keep more of the economic benefit they bring to the state through tourism.

Right now, much of that benefit goes to the state through the meals and rooms tax.  A new bill would address this - it would give municipalities the option of collecting an extra two dollars a night from hotel room rentals in their areas, including Airbnb rentals.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to outdoor recreation opportunities. But some recreation groups and business leaders say the state isn’t doing enough to boost the recreation industry. They’re supporting legislative efforts to create an Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry Development.

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.”

 

A group convened by the Governor to study whether schools should start after Labor Day says that despite concerns from educators, establishing a uniform school start date in September is feasible and would boost the state's economy.

(Scroll down to read the commission's full report)

AirBnb, an online service that allows homeowners to rent their homes out to short-term visitors, has taken off in the last few years, and has helped foster a new way of travel and lodging. We look at how AirBnb and other rental services impact our housing market, rental prices, and neighborhoods, tourism, and other lodging options.

NHPR

New Hampshire Tourism officials are projecting some 300,000 visitors to the Granite State over the Columbus Day Weekend.

 

Overnight visitors are expected to spend more than $115 million this weekend.

 

"We're slammin,” says Tom Lapointe, innkeeper at the Adair Country Inn and Restaurant in Bethlehem. “So we're completely sold out for the weekend. And our dining room is, like, packed to the gills. We couldn't do anymore business."

 

VisitNH

   

Tourism officials in New Hampshire are projecting a slight increase in the numbers of visitors and the amount spent this fall in the state.

The New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development on Monday projected that 3 million out-of-state visitors who spend the night will spend $1.4 billion in the state. That would mark a 4.5 percent increase for visitors and a 5 percent increase for spending.

Going Local: The Great North Woods

Aug 31, 2018
Dan Tuohy; NHPR

For the first part of our series, Going Local, we look at the Great North Woods

The very top of our state, with its small towns and expansive outdoor recreation options, is a region driven by local government, where school funding, access to well-paying jobs, and retention of a sustainable workforce are all big issues.

This show originally aired on July 12, 2018. 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The Balsams Resort in Dixville Notch closed its doors in 2011 after more than a century of serving North Country tourists.

A few years ago, a private developer stepped forward with hopes of revitalizing the property, but yesterday, there was another setback for the famed property: a financing deal backed by taxpayer money is now on hold after the parties failed to come to terms.

NHPR’s All Things Considered host Peter Biello speaks with reporter Todd Bookman about what the announcement could mean for the iconic resort.

Going Local: The Seacoast

Jul 18, 2018
Sara Plourde; NHPR

We look at the New Hampshire Seacoast as part of our regional series, Going Local.

With thirteen miles of ocean, a vibrant local business and arts scene, and cities and small towns that surround the beach and inland estuaries, the Seacoast is rich in culture. However, the region has faced challenges with climate change and a higher cost of living. We look at what makes this part of our state unique, and in both smaller towns like Exeter and 

Epping, and big draws like Portsmouth and Hampton.

N.H. Visitors to Spend $155M Over Fourth of July Holiday

Jul 1, 2018
Martin Abbott / Flickr CC

 

New Hampshire tourism officials estimate more than a million out-of-state visitors are expected to spend in excess of $155 million over the Fourth of July holiday period in the state.

The period from Friday, June 29, through Sunday, July 8, kicks off New Hampshire's busiest travel season.

The majority of visitors will be coming from New England and the Middle Atlantic states.

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

A long-running debate is heating up on top of New Hampshire's highest peak. It’s attracting more visitors every year, but some fear its delicate ecosystems are at risk from proposed development and overuse. 

Scroll to the bottom of this story to see a timeline of the history of development on Mount Washington.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

Many seasonal businesses in New Hampshire take advantage of temporary worker visas to fill jobs. Now that the busy summer season is here, companies are saying there aren't enough of what are called H-2B visas to go around.

The visas allow international workers to fill non-agriculture jobs like openings for restaurant servers and landscaping workers. The national cap is set at 66,000, though the Department of Homeland Security has the authority to add an additional 69,000.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

The New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism forecasts the state will see 650,000 out-of-state visitors this Memorial Day weekend.

 

John Howard works on the Winnipesaukee Belle. He expects his lake cruises to be packed, as long as the weather cooperates.

 

"It's very weather-driven, so if the weather holds out, we'll have a great weekend,” Howard said. “If it gets cold and rainy, then we won't."

 

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The M/S Mount Washington is out of storage and ready for another season of tours on Lake Winnipesaukee.

It used to be tradition for the boat to make something of a warm-up journey before taking on passengers: it was called the Shakedown Cruise.

This year, at the request of Governor Chris Sununu, that tradition is back.

NHPR File Photo

 

This year's New Hampshire Governor's Conference on Tourism is focusing on Main Street.

The conference by the New Hampshire Travel Council is scheduled for May 14-15 in Concord.

A presentation on May 14 will focus on "New Hampshire Creative Economy: Prosperity Through Arts and Culture," followed by breakout sessions.

The latest tourism industry trends will be discussed May 15 at the Grappone Conference Center with the keynote presentation, "Adapting Geotourism Strategies."

Sara Plourde for NHPR

As the state transitions from ATV season to snowmobile season, off-highway recreational vehicles (OHRVs) are hugely popular and have a nearly year-round presence in parts of New Hampshire. We follow up with NHPR's Off-Road series by Casey McDermott and Todd Bookman by looking at their safety record, and the economic and environmental impact of this sporting culture.


N.H. To See More Tourism Dollars This Winter Season

Nov 13, 2017
Courtesy of Bretton Wood's Facebook page

With two ski areas kicking off the season this past weekend, winter tourism in New Hampshire is officially here.

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