Signs Point to Strong Summer Tourist Season for Cape Cod & Islands

HYANNIS – The summer tourism season in underway on Cape Cod and the Islands and local businesses are hoping for another good year.

Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce CEO Wendy Northcross said all signs indicate that business will be strong once again, including a robust economy and full employment.

“The economy is just on a roll and hopefully it won’t stop until a long time into the future, but there are no storm clouds for this summer on the horizon,” Northcross said. “It’s all good news I think.”

Northcross said she is hearing from chamber members that advance bookings are strong for the summer.

“But I’m also hearing that last summer we could have used some really hot weather. We didn’t have that heat in the cities that drives people to beach regions,” Northcross said. “If we had to wish for anything it probably would be that – enough hot, steamy, humid weather that people want to get out.”

Northcross said the hot weather can motivate visitors to make the trip.

“When you are at the beach you just feel better and you are out and about,” she said. “It’s historically where people have gone to get away from the city heat.”

The chamber’s annual Cape Cod Quahog Day event will be held Thursday, June 21 to announce the predicted number of beach days this summer.

Kicking off the summer season, Doug the Quahog tells us how many days of beach weather we have to look forward to during the season. During his “Prognostication Ceremony,” Doug secretly whispers his prediction into the ear of his human sidekick, Johnny Quahog, aka The Secretary General ofQuahog Republic.

The 10th annual Quahog Day event will be held at the Pilot House Restaurant & Lounge at the Sandwich Marina.

Northcross said the chamber targets visitors from nearby regions, including New England, New York, New Jersey and the Mid-Atlantic, along with international guests from Europe and Canada, who stay longer and spend more money.

“But our bread and butter is the American family looking to take their summer vacation getaway,” Northcross said.

A surprising location has become a major competitor for attracting vacationers this summer – Canada.

“Canada is very hot,” Northcross said. “It’s hot because it is very cool up there and their exchange rate is great for Americans. You can get to the Maritime Provinces in the same kind of drive time that you can get to Cape Cod.”

Northcross said the Cape does have warmed water, is a little bit closer and has more transportation options to get here, including the Cape Flyer train service between Boston and Hyannis.

Steamship Authority General Manager Bob Davis said advanced bookings for trips to the islands this summer are up compared to the same time last year.

“Both islands are up. The Vineyard is up a little bit more than the Nantucket route for vehicles,” Davis said.

Davis said ridership was strong during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

“These generally turn out to be fairly good indicators,” he said.

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