Tourism

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Most small businesses in Maine have been struggling due to the pandemic. Governor Mills has announced a $200 million grant program offering financial relief to small businesses and nonprofits, with grant applications due Sept 9th. We'll learn about how small businesses are faring, especially during the summer tourist season, and how they can access relief funds and other aid during these difficult times.


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Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor says it is receiving an increasing number of phone calls from out-of-state visitors who tested for COVID-19 before they came to Maine, then found out they were positive after they arrived. At least one other hospital says it's getting similar calls. These cases aren't captured in state data, and it is raising concerns among some hospital officials that Maine's relatively low case count could take an upswing.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Images

The Maine Center for Disease Control reported 24 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, with a net increase of 14 additional cases, making a total of 3,737. The number of deaths held steady for the second consecutive day and remains at 118.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District says she was successful in amending the appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security in a way that could improve the labor supply for Maine tourism businesses.

Maine Public File

Bar Harbor has decided to close its ports to cruise ships for the remainder of the 2020 season as COVID-19 cases continue to rise around the country.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Images

For more than a week, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont have been encouraging travel around northern New England as a step toward reviving their tourism-dependent economies that have been suppressed by the pandemic. But where exactly you hail from can make a big difference in your ability to move about freely.

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Gov. Janet Mills recently announced a change to the controversial rule requiring a 14-day quarantine for out-of-state visitors to Maine. We'll discuss the new guidelines, which call for visitors from certain states with higher rates of infection to test negative for COVID-19. The new rule hinges on increased COVID-19 testing capacity in Maine. We'll discuss what the guidelines mean, how they will be enforced and how they are being received by Maine's tourism industry.


Maine Public File

Gov. Janet Mills is allowing campgrounds to reopen this weekend , but some operators say they are not quite ready.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Air Date: 1-2 p.m. Thursday, May 7, 2020

New England’s economy relies on tourism, and this year’s summer season may be completely wiped out by coronavirus.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public File

Maine's restaurant and hotel owners anxiously watched Gov. Janet Mills press conference Thursday, hoping for an indicator of when and how she will start reopening the state's pandemic-plagued economy.

Nick Woodward / Maine Public

Sunday, if you happen to be staying in a hotel, bed and breakfast, campground or other lodging in Maine, noon is going to be check out-time for almost everybody because lodgings around the state will be closing.

Jennifer Mitchell / Maine Public

One major protocol outlined by health officials in the effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is social distancing. But that, coupled with travel restrictions around the world, has led to what some are calling an unprecedented number of event cancellations — from corporate meetings to international concert tours. And it's hard times ahead for a number of industries that count on those gatherings.

A new study from the University of Maine shows that the Maine hospitality industry employed about 59,000 full and part-time workers last year and generated $4 billion in taxable retail sales, with a total contribution to Maine's economy of almost $7 billion.

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International travel publication Lonely Planet has named Maine one of the world's top regions to travel to in 2020.

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Tourism attracts millions of visitors to Maine each summer, but for those of us who live here, there are still abundant opportunities to travel and explore in and around the state throughout the season. We’ll learn about places to visit, from popular attractions to hidden gems, as well as lodging options, festivals, events, quirky spots and more.

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