Tourism Officials Say Cape Business Rebounded in Second Half of Summer

HYANNIS – It was a difficult start early to the summer season for businesses on Cape Cod, but it rebounded in the second half.

Cape Cod Chamber CEO Wendy Northcross said the weather was the biggest reason why hotel occupancy rates and business were down in June and July.

“I think there’s a lot of little things that add up to just a very different business year,” said Northcross.

“I’m going to put weather at the very top of the list.”

After three tornadoes touched down in the mid-Cape on July 23, Northcross said that the cleanup, recovery, along with the extra marketing, helped to turn things around quickly, resulting in a strong last half of July and month of August.

“We put a good amount of effort into that post-storm recovery message, we didn’t want people to think that Cape Cod was lacking anything post-tornadoes and to make sure that everyone understood that everything is open, everything is great and there’s no reason to not take your Cape Cod vacation,” said Northcross.

The chamber reports that web traffic on their site was up double digits in August from last year’s numbers.

They also said there were more than 4,000 cars traveling on both the Sagamore and Bourne bridges each day during the summer, which is up from last year and the Cape Flyer saw a 27 percent increase in ridership this summer.

Some Cape Cod retail and restaurants also told Northcross that they saw a strong month of August for business.

Northcross said that business on Cape Cod wasn’t impacted necessarily by the state’s new short-term rental tax, but that the region is likely mimicking what is happening with the rest of the country, as more Americans are using the strong U.S. dollar to travel overseas, rather than stay in the country.

The chamber is expecting the strong second half of the summer season to continue into the fall, when the motor coach season begins, there are more international tourists and the regional festival season continues.

“Now we’re about to enter what I’m calling our second summer,” said Northcross. “It’s a very strong season for the Cape. September and October, all the indications are that we’re going to have a pretty good fall.”

Northcross added that the chamber will continue to look at this summer’s numbers this week.

About Justin Saunders

Justin Saunders has nearly 10 years of experience in radio, television, online and newspaper journalism across the US and Canada. Justin joined the NewsCenter in May 2014 and continues to help provide coverage of the Cape and Islands.
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