How Was Business This Summer?
September will close the season with mixed results.
This report, the last in a series, examines tourism in the shoulder season.
People in the local travel and tourism industry will say, the season didn’t end Labor Day. September now extends the season. Early indicators predict three things: not good tour bus numbers, a big question for international travel and an excellent wedding season.
Advance bookings for motor coach trips are off from previous years.
“That’s been an older demographic,” Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce CEO Wendy Northcross said. “The Baby Boomers don’t seem to be bus tour types.”
Bus tours mean captive audiences that go where the bus takes them, pre-arranged destinations. For several years, purveyors of food and lodging could rely on agreements with tour operators to deliver customers to the door.
This summer’s brought an unexpectedly high number of international visitors to the Cape. They traditionally arrive in June and September. No one can guess whether the large number of Japanese, Germans and Brits in the summer will mean fewer in the fall.
While bus tour bookings have dropped, wedding bookings have risen. That’s good news for food and lodging, limos companies, photographers, florists and more.
“They’re very strong,” Northcross said. “There are more weddings and with higher guest counts.”
Weddings have become a big expense. An increase in that expense demonstrates a trend in all recessions.
“The higher end is doing very well,” Northcross said.