(The Center Square) – With Gov. Chris Sununu’s announcement that New Hampshire’s stay-at-home order would be extended until May 31, Memorial Day weekend will see less activity this year.
The mandate still requires people to stay home as much as possible in order to prevent potential spread of COVID-19.
But the new order does ease some restrictions, including the reopening of golf courses on May 11, and restaurants opening for outdoor seating on May 18. While public ocean beaches remain closed, inland beaches will be open with occupancy limitations. Hotels still are restricted to serving only vulnerable populations and essential workers.
“The Governor’s Economic Re-Opening Task Force is charged with developing a plan and overseeing the state and private sector actions needed to reopen the state’s economy, which includes New Hampshire’s tourism industry,” New Hampshire Travel and Tourism Director Lori Harnois said in an email response to The Center Square.
“We believe New Hampshire is well positioned for a recovery once things do open up, based on our proximity, easy access and incredible natural resources, which we expect to be in high demand,” Harnois added.
As with other states, New Hampshire’s tourism industry has seen an adverse economic impact due to mandated closures brought on by the coronavirus.
“These are unprecedented times, and are not like anything we’ve experienced before, so there is no historical data we could even begin to compare with,” Harnois said.
While most of the tourism industry remains in a holding pattern, the forecast could soon improve.
“The health and wellbeing of our residents and visitors is always our top priority. We have and will continue to follow the recommendations of our state leaders and health officials in terms of how the state reopens," Harnois said.
“Although things may seem very grim right now, when this is all over, the option to travel will be even more precious to people,” she added. "We are resilient here in New Hampshire and our tourism industry is made of so many amazing business owners and dedicated workers. We will get through this together."