NH Tourism officials expect all-time highs for leaf peepers, visitors and spending this fall

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Governor Chris Sununu, flanked by Taylor Caswell, Commissioner, New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs, and Amy Bassett, Deputy Director, New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development, kick off the Columbus Day holiday weekend with remarks from the NH State House steps. Courtesy Photo

CONCORD, NH – New Hampshire’s second largest economic driver (after manufacturing) will get a substantial boost this fall as New Hampshire tourism officials are projecting increases in tourism visitation and spending. During a special event at the Statehouse Oct. 5, the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development (DTTD), together with Governor Chris Sununu, announced that 9.75 million visitors will spend $1.5 billion this fall season, a four-percent and five-percent increase respectively over fall 2016.

“From the Granite State’s unrivaled beauty to our treasured history and tax free shopping, New Hampshire has limitless ways to enjoy the fall foliage,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “The Granite State is proud to welcome visitors from around the globe, and we work hard to ensure that every visit is better than the last.”

In addition to a strong overall fall season, DTTD is anticipating robust travel over the Columbus Day Weekend, New Hampshire’s third busiest travel weekend representing nearly 10-percent of all fall season visitation. DTTD research partners project approximately 710,000 visitors will spend more than $100 million—marking five-percent increases in both visitation and spending compared to Columbus Day 2016.

“The continued growth in visitation and spending underscores tourism is a critical driver of New Hampshire’s economic infrastructure,” Taylor Caswell, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs said. “The fall tourism season, particularly viewing foliage and enjoying varied outdoor recreation, is a major contributor to New Hampshire’s tourism businesses and attractions.”

DTTD unveiled its fall marketing campaign centered on the limitless ways visitors can experience the breathtaking autumn scenery.  Visitnh.gov provides visitors a visually engaging tool to assist with their autumn trip planning. A refreshed foliage tracker enables the visitor to see foliage reports, scenic drives, photo opportunities, and other visitor’s images.

“With a breathtaking canopy of color as the backdrop, opportunities to enjoy New Hampshire are limitless this fall,” said Amy Bassett, DTTD deputy director. “Informed by visitor data and comprehensive research, the Division leverages cutting edge marketing platforms to position New Hampshire as the northeast’s premier travel destination.” 

DTTD’s blog/video series “Live Free with Kris,” continues to highlight New Hampshire’s hidden gems.  To follow Live Free with Kris’ adventures and to get insider tips on fall hot spots, visit the Live Free with Kris blog and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

Supported by New Hampshire’s reputation as a premier foliage-viewing destination, the Granite State’s fall season draws the largest percentage of visitors from outside New England. Research partners point to a number of positive indicators, including consumer spending, consumer confidence, employment growth, wage growth, and travel expenditures, as supporting a strong fall season. Reasonable gas prices and somewhat lower domestic airline ticket prices will also bolster visitation and spending.

Scenic drives and outdoor recreation will remain the most popular activities this fall, while visiting farm stands, orchards, festivals, agricultural fairs, attractions, and friends and relatives are also popular visitor activities. Shopping is also a popular fall activity in New Hampshire.

In addition to foliage viewing, New Hampshire offers an array of fall activities, events and destinations, including:

Stay connected with New Hampshire tourism on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest and YouTube, and be sure to follow the #livefreeNH tag to see what other people are saying about summer in New Hampshire. 

The Division of Travel and Tourism Development, as part of the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs, works with the state’s seven travel regions to increase visitation, travel and visitor expenditures in order to expand business activity and employment throughout the state. The division is responsible for domestic and international advertising and public relations, literature publication and distribution, www.visitnh.govadministration, grant administration and research to monitor and measure the impact of travel and tourism to the state. For more information about New Hampshire tourism, call 603-271-2665 or visit www.visitnh.gov.


About this Author


Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of ManchesterInkLink.com. Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!