Breaking News
More () »

Summer 2023 tourism numbers seem promising, despite rainy start

According to the Maine Office of Tourism, every 102 visitors to come to the Pine Tree State support a new job.

MAINE, USA — The summer in Maine got off to a soggy start, but local businesses and tourism experts say they don't think that will put much of a damper on overall seasonal visitation.

Tony Cameron, the CEO of the Maine Tourism Association, said official tourism numbers won't be in until post-Labor Day weekend after his team surveys their members to get an idea of how summer went for them. Cameron said on the association's behalf, though, signs are positive.

"We’ve seen about a 12-percent increase in visitor traffic to our visitor centers," Cameron said.

Cameron said while the rain in June and July certainly didn't help most businesses, tourists did find alternative activities to do, like shopping in retail stores and visiting museums. He said the improved weather later on in the summer helped, too.

"July bookings were a little bit softer. People were making more last-minute reservations," Cameron said. "August, it was much more booked up."

Cameron said last year, visitors in Maine spent $8.6 billion. According to the Maine Office of Tourism, every 102 people to visit our state support a new job. 

"I think it’s going to be a decent year," Cameron said. "I think that despite the rain, businesses have been able to do well because the demand for travel is still there."

Fred Kennedy of Old Orchard Beach has seen that demand for travel firsthand. He and his wife own the Alouette Beach Resort, as well as two other hotels in the area, and have been running it since 2000. 

"It seems like the first real solid year where everybody’s coming back and feeling good," Kennedy said.

Kennedy said they run their operations all year long, although they're scaled back during the off-season.

"Summer’s everything. That’s our business. That’s our bread and butter – particularly the end of June to mid-September," Kennedy said, later adding, "We take in 80 percent of our revenue in the summer time – maybe 85 percent."

At Dock Square Clothiers in Kennebunkport, employees are also feeling positive about a decent season.

"We’re pretty on par so far for what we did last year," Allison Rickert, a retail sales associate at the store, said, noting they've recovered "really well" since the pandemic.

"We just had the cruise ships pick up this month," Rickert said. 

In 2022, more than 9 million people visited Maine. Cameron said the Maine Tourism Association will be releasing official Labor Day and summer tourism numbers later this week. 

More NEWS CENTER Maine stories

For the latest breaking news, weather, and traffic alerts, download the NEWS CENTER Maine mobile app.

Before You Leave, Check This Out