PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s tourism industry saw visitation drop by about 27% last year during the pandemic, but the impact wasn’t as dire as some feared.

A late-summer boost in travel made up for some of the lost ground early in the pandemic, preventing the tourism season from being a total bust.

Total spending on restaurants, lodging, shopping and other activities fell to about $4.8 billion, according to the Maine Office of Tourism. The total economic impact dipped to about $9 billion from more than $12 billion the year before, the tourism office reported.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills praised the work of health officials and business leaders for pandemic precautions that set the state up for a late-season surge in tourists, the Portland Press Herald reported. The state’s reputation as a safe place helped draw visitors, she said.

“You committed to following public safety and health precautions and attended trainings to slow the spread of the virus and keep our visitors, staff and public safe. The innovation and ingenuity of this industry embodied the very essence of this state,” she said.

Get our free mobile app

Unlike last summer, the state has lifted testing and quarantine requirements for people coming to the state. Occupancy restrictions will grow to 75% indoors and 100% outdoors later this month.

More From