Record-breaking number of visitors expected this fall in NH

Union Leader Correspondent
September 24. 2018 10:57PM
From left, Rick Hardy, Victoria Cimino, Taylor Caswell and Shawn Jasper gather Monday at Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis to celebrate the start of the fall tourism season. (Kimberly Houghton/Union Leader Correspondent)

HOLLIS — New Hampshire officials are projecting that about 3 million out-of-state, overnight visitors will flock to see New Hampshire’s fall foliage and spend about $1.4 billion.

Taylor Caswell, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs, said those numbers would represent a 4.5 percent jump in visitors and a 5 percent increase in spending over last year’s fall tourism season, which is the state’s second-largest travel season of the year.

“We do expect this to be another record-breaking year,” said Caswell. “ ... The conditions are perfect for that.”

Tourism officials gathered Monday at Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis to celebrate the launch of the fall tourism season and a new fall marketing campaign.

Farms such as Brookdale Farm are prime examples of the state’s diversified agriculture, according to Shawn Jasper, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food.

Local farms are focusing not only on wholesome food, but also recreational activities for families such as pick-your-own apple stations, hayrides, corn mazes and more, said Jasper.

“We are really pushing the agritourism,” he said.

Rick Hardy, owner of Brookdale Farm, said there are currently 19 varieties of apples available for picking on his farm.

“But it is really about entertainment and the value you can bring to families,” said Hardy, urging New Hampshire residents to come visit area farms and support local farming efforts.

Victoria Cimino, director of the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development, said Monday that the state’s fall marketing campaign will focus on television and digital display ads hitting Boston, New York, Toronto, Montreal, North Carolina and more.

A new blog has been included in the fall marketing campaign at the website, including stories and highlights about fall products, food, culture, scenic drives, fall foliage and more.

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