MAINE, USA — For many in Maine's tourism industry, Memorial Day's title as the ''unofficial start to summer" is even more exciting this year following a 30 percent decrease in tourism revenue last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We're getting back on track," Tony Cameron, CEO of the Maine Tourism Association, said.
While data on just how many people came to Maine this weekend won't be available until later this week, on Monday, traffic was backed up for nearly 25 miles on the Maine Turnpike from the New Hampshire border to Kennebunk.
Cameron said the turning point for the tourism industry was actually back in March when capacity limits and restrictions on travel were eased.
"Since that point, we saw reservations and interest go up exponentially," he said.
Cameron added that it's impossible to make up for last summer, but many businesses are hoping to at least be on par with the summer of 2019, and to provide visitors with a fun and safe vacation.
"I'm looking forward to a great summer and if people haven't planned their vacation yet nows the time to do it because things are booking up fast," he said.
Cameron said that this week, the Maine Tourism Association will be getting numbers from the Maine Turnpike Authority on how many people visited Maine this weekend, and his team will also talk to businesses to see what their Memorial Day weekend was like.