Seasonal Businesses in Maine Prepare for a Promising Tourist Season

Across the state of Maine, seasonal businesses are excitedly getting ready for the start of a new tourist season. With fresh menus and revamped hotel rooms, they are eager to welcome visitors from near and far. One new addition to the dining scene is Buttermilk Kitchen at Marriner’s in Camden, while Red’s Eats, the iconic lobster shack in Wiscasset, has already opened its doors to customers. Similarly, the Tugboat Inn & Restaurant in Boothbay Harbor and popular eateries Bill’s Pizza and Pier French Fries in Old Orchard Beach have also resumed operations.

Steve Lyons, director of the Maine Office of Tourism, shared that although there was a slight decrease in tourist visits last year, those who did come to Maine stayed longer and spent more money. The rainy spring in 2023 may have contributed to the 0.6% drop in visits compared to 2022. However, despite the decrease, 15.3 million people still visited Maine in 2023, with spending increasing by nearly 5%. The tourism industry also supported 131,000 jobs and generated over $9 billion in direct expenditures.

Although tourism officials are optimistic about another strong year, Maine has yet to reach the pre-pandemic level of 16.4 million visitors in 2019. However, Acadia National Park has maintained steady visitation numbers throughout the pandemic. While visits cooled slightly in the past two years, the park still saw 3.88 million visitors in 2023. The executive director of HospitalityMaine, Becky Jacobson, attributed the decline in visitors last year to the rainy weather in May and June, particularly in southern Maine.

As for staffing, the industry had better luck hiring in 2023 compared to 2022 when an overwhelming wave of tourists eager to escape the pandemic placed strain on many establishments. However, aging demographics and increased employment opportunities for younger workers continue to pose challenges in finding and retaining staff.

Despite the uncertainties surrounding the upcoming summer season, there is a silver lining. Droughts tend to attract visitors to Maine, and recent statistics show that 97% of people who visit the state would recommend it to others. Additionally, the total solar eclipse on April 8 drew in visitors who expressed plans to return, and 30% of those arriving by cruise ship intend to come back for a land-based vacation.

As the anticipation builds, industry professionals like Jacobson hope for good weather and ask for a collective “no rain dance” to ensure a successful tourist season ahead.

Across the state of Maine, seasonal businesses are preparing for the start of the tourist season. Buttermilk Kitchen at Marriner’s in Camden and Red’s Eats in Wiscasset have already opened, while the Tugboat Inn & Restaurant in Boothbay Harbor and Bill’s Pizza and Pier French Fries in Old Orchard Beach have resumed operations.

Steve Lyons, director of the Maine Office of Tourism, shared that although there was a slight decrease in tourist visits in 2023, those who did come stayed longer and spent more money. The rainy spring in 2023 may have contributed to the 0.6% drop in visits compared to the previous year. However, 15.3 million people still visited Maine in 2023, with spending increasing by nearly 5%. The tourism industry also supported 131,000 jobs and generated over $9 billion in direct expenditures.

Maine has not yet reached the pre-pandemic level of 16.4 million visitors in 2019, but Acadia National Park has maintained steady visitation numbers throughout the pandemic. The park saw 3.88 million visitors in 2023, with a slight decrease due to the rainy weather in May and June.

Staffing in the industry had better luck in 2023 compared to the previous year, but finding and retaining staff remains a challenge due to aging demographics and increased employment opportunities for younger workers.

Despite uncertainties, recent statistics show that 97% of people who visit Maine would recommend it to others. The total solar eclipse on April 8 attracted visitors who expressed plans to return, and 30% of those arriving by cruise ship intend to come back for a land-based vacation.

Industry professionals like Becky Jacobson, executive director of HospitalityMaine, hope for good weather and ask for a collective “no rain dance” to ensure a successful tourist season ahead.

Key terms/jargon:
– Tourist season: turistická sezóna
– Menu: jídelní lístek
– Revamped: přepracovaný
– Lobster shack: restaurace specializující se na humry
– Seasonal businesses: sezónní podniky
– Visitation numbers: počet návštěv
– Expenditures: výdaje
– Pre-pandemic: předpandemický
– Cruise ship: výletní loď
– Staffing: personál

Suggested related links:
Visit Maine
Maine Tourism Association