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Senator Hassan Holds Virtual Roundtable with Travel & Tourism Leaders in NH to Discuss Upcoming Fall and Winter Season Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

WASHINGTON – In case you missed it, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan held a virtual roundtable with travel and tourism leaders in New Hampshire this week to discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact their fall and winter seasons.


Senator Hassan is focused on supporting the tourism and hospitality industry, one of New Hampshire’s largest economic drivers, during this difficult time. Ahead of the July 4th weekend, the Senator held a virtual roundtable with tourism and hospitality leaders to discuss how the pandemic is impacting their summer season. Senator Hassan also cosponsored the Great American Outdoors Act, which is now law, to help preserve and maintain public lands, including the White Mountain National Forest – which is a major source of tourism for New Hampshire. The Senator is pushing for an additional comprehensive COVID-19 relief package to get further economic assistance to individuals, businesses, and nonprofits in New Hampshire.


See below for coverage highlights:


WMUR: Education campaigns underway for tourists planning trips to NH this fall, winter

By Mike Cronin


Concerns regarding COVID-19 have forced some changes to New Hampshire’s fall and winter tourism seasons. But despite the changes, officials are optimistic they can be safe and successful.


State revenues will drop with the Canadian border closed and most leaf-peeper group tours have been canceled. In a Zoom meeting with Sen. Maggie Hassan, state tourism leaders spoke about new online efforts to encourage visitors while also educating them about New Hampshire’s restrictions.


Officials asked Hassan to work on extending the deadline in place that requires them to use federal coronavirus relief money before the end of the year.


“If the funds have to be spent by Dec. 30, obviously that’s very hard because tourism is year-round in New Hampshire,” State Tourism Director Lori Harnois said.


[…] Hassan addressed the stalemate in Washington over a COVID-19 stimulus bill.


“I will keep pushing for  another bipartisan relief package that not only supports businesses but also addresses the multiple needs that we have,” Hassan said.


The Union Leader: How pandemic could affect NH's fall, winter tourism

By John Koziol


As New Hampshire enters the foliage season, the “majority” of leaf-peeping bus tours have been canceled or postponed until next year because of the coronavirus pandemic, the state’s tourism chief said Monday.


It’s “too early to know the economic impact” of the cancellations/postponements, Lori Harnois, director of the Division of Travel and Tourism Development, said during a virtual roundtable discussion organized by U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan.


Paula Kinney of the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce said that in Berlin and into the upper reaches of Coos County, which is crisscrossed with ATV trails, “we’re having trouble with people coming here.”


“They are just kind of trashing the place. A lot of rude people,” Kinney told the group, which also included Jessyca Keeler, executive director of Ski New Hampshire, and CJ Haines, executive director, New Hampshire Brewers Association.


[…] Haines said two-thirds of the 92 breweries in New Hampshire are small, which means that when the cold weather comes, they will lose their outdoor seating. That will directly result in decreased revenues.


She told Hassan that brewers are also very concerned about an expected federal excise tax doubling at the end of the year — from $3.50 to $7 per barrel.

Federal tariffs on imported aluminum have also hurt brewers, who’ve increasingly taken to canning their product, Haines said. Hassan said she was aware of the excise-tax issue and working to make the tax cut permanent.


The Democrat told Harnois and Kinney that she and other senators want to extend beyond Dec. 30 the time businesses have to spend federal CARES Act funds.


Hassan closed by saying she would continue to push for a bipartisan second COVID-19 relief package to help individuals, businesses and nonprofits as well as the state and local governments.


The Caledonian Record: Bus Tours The Latest COVID Casualty

By Paul Hayes


COVID continues to impact the North Country economy.


The latest blow was announced Monday during a travel and tourism roundtable hosted by U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan.


Most motor coach companies have canceled or postponed their fall foliage bus tours, with the exception of “a couple” of in-state carriers offering one- or two-day trips to New Hampshire residents, said state tourism director Lori Harnois.


[…] “It’s too early to know the economic impact but it’s disappointing,” Harnois said.


[…] Her advice to Hassan and other state travel and tourism leaders: Limit the spread of the virus so that Granite State businesses can remain open. Towards the goal, the state has launched a public awareness campaign promoting good health practices.


To help businesses through uncertain times, Hassan continues to push for a second COVID relief package. She also supports a national strategy to contain the outbreak, which would help unlock the Canadian border and re-start international tourism to New Hampshire.


“When there’s national strategy and message about what everybody should be doing, it gets easier for everybody to hunker down and do it,” she said.


AP: NH fall visitors encouraged to research, ‘Leave No Trace’

By Kathy McCormack


New Hampshire’s Division of Travel and Tourism Development is emphasizing that visitors to the state this fall “Know Before You Go” online with regard to coronavirus-related requirements and restrictions.


Visitors can educate themselves while looking at the fall foliage tracker and at suggested scenic drives in the state, Lori Harnois, director of the division, said during a meeting on fall tourism hosted by U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan on Monday.


[…] The hospitality representatives said they also hoped that the deadline on federal CARES Act relief funds could be extended past December. Hassan has introduce a bill calling for that.