Summer tourism looking good, but some COVID problems remain
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Representatives of New Hampshire restaurants and lodging industries said Monday that they are optimistic for a strong spring and summer now that COVID-19 vaccinations are available, but some problems remain.
“Both vacation rentals and lodging pre-bookings are up over previous years at this time, as well as rentals of boats, canoes, kayaks, attraction tickets,” Amy Landers, executive director of the Lakes Region Tourism Association, said during a call hosted by U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. “We are encouraging people if you want to get to the Lakes Region this summer, you better start planning now because everything is going be sold out.”
Landers said some businesses are still struggling, however, such as restaurants. She said one challenge in past years, finding workers, will increase.
“It’s going to be the worst ever that we’ve seen because we don’t have the international (staff) coming in as well. I’m fearful that we’re going to lose several businesses because they won’t have employees,” she said.
Landers said there has been discussion of marketing to draw workers from other states, but there’s a lack of housing for them.
Shaheen said the Biden administration is re-evaluating policies to make it easier for visa workers to come into the country for jobs.
More than 78,000 people have tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, including 224 cases announced Monday. No new deaths were announced. The total was 1,199.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire decreased over the past two weeks, going from 287 new cases per day on Feb. 27 to 251 new cases per day on Saturday.