The Temperamental Economics Of Tourism


This page is no longer being updated. For ongoing coverage of this topic, go to New Hampshire Public Radio.


Tourism is New Hampshire’s second-largest industry–if you combine the state’s smart manufacturing and high technology sectors (SMHT).  It’s also a clear point of intersection between government and industry, with the state maintaining a number of parks, campgrounds, and historical sites, and nearby businesses in turn catering to visitors’ needs.  Given this close relationship, the state provides funding to market New Hampshire to potential tourists.  Some of the heaviest marketing efforts are concentrated in Boston, Philadelphia and New York City.  Canadian tourists, especially Quebeçois, also make up a sizable number of New Hampshire’s visitors.

Darren McCollester / Getty Images

From the business perspective, “tourism” is a broad term.  It encompasses hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail, and arts and entertainment, among other things.  So while statewide reports may indicate overall restaurant or retail sales are up or down, the story might be very different in New Hampshire’s main tourism communities.  For these places, weather, gas prices, currency exchange rates, and whether they draw visitors for outdoor activities, site-seeing, or shopping could all be factors.

Despite the temperamental nature of the tourism industry, the Institute for New Hampshire Studies found that in FY 2010, for every marketing dollar spent by the state’s Division of Travel and Tourism Development, local governments saw a return of $7.99.

Latest Posts

How Apps Are Keeping Ski Areas Honest

Spring weather is now starting to roll in, but just last week winter had its last hurrah. And when those big snow storms wallop the mountains, ski areas see dollar signs. A pair of Dartmouth economists are researching the tendency of ski areas to exaggerate snowfall reports, especially on weekends, in hopes of luring more skiers […]

For Your Entertainment: Tourism And One Of Primary Night’s Most Amusing Tweets

One of our most popular New Hampshire primary posts looked at how much the months-long political circus affects Granite State tourism.  (You can read that post here.) Political tourism is definitely a niche hobby. Given that context, we were rather entertained by this tweet from Union-Leader Editorial Page Editor Drew Cline:

How Much Does The Primary Actually Help NH Tourism?

In an earlier post, we spent a fair amount of time breaking down the economic impact of New Hampshire primary spending.  (You can read that post here.) But there was one aspect we didn’t really touch on, and that’s the money generated by tourists who come here to watch the First In The Nation primary […]

Best Of StateImpact: Why The Vacation Home Market Matters

Working on a site that deals with business and the economy, we look at a lot of reports.  Economic reports, financial reports, government analyses…it goes on and on.  So when we heard about the importance of second homes to New Hampshire’s economy, our first instinct was to reach for a report. We came up empty-handed. […]

New Hampshire Primary Spending Way Down Among Republican Candidates

If it feels like maybe Republican presidential candidates aren’t spending as much in New Hampshire as they did in the run-up to the 2008 primary, you’re onto something.  Bob Sanders of the New Hampshire Business Review dug into campaign expenditures thus far, and found: “The voting results won’t be in until January, but so far […]

Leaf Peeping Down In New Hampshire? Depends Who You Ask

AP reported Friday that leaf peeping bus tours in New Hampshire’s popular White Mountain region and other parts of New England are down this fall. New Hampshire’s foliage season is the second most popular and lucrative time for tourism in the state, according to the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development. The state […]

What You Need To Know About The Vacation Home Market: A Realtor’s Perspective

StateImpact has been on the road this week, as part of our month-long series on the state’s vacation home economy. We headed to the mother of all New Hampshire tourism communities: the town of Moultonborough, along Lake Winnipesaukee.  You may remember from our previous coverage that 61 percent of the homes in the area are […]

Route 302 Set To Reopen Tomorrow

Nearly three weeks after taking heavy damage from Tropical Storm Irene, Route 302 at Hart’s Location is set to reopen to traffic tomorrow.  A press release from Governor John Lynch’s office notes the reopening is nearly a week ahead of schedule.

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »