Nantucket Tourism and the Economy

Steamship Authority passenger traffic between Hyannis and Nantucket for 2009 through July 31 was down 0.4% from last year (Fast ferry was up 0.9%; regular ferry down 1.2%). Auto traffic was down 4.1%, trucks were down 16.8%. (Thanks for Flint Ranney for these figures.)

Enplanements (number of ticketed passengers departing Nantucket Memorial Airport reported by tenant airlines) through July, 2009 are down 24.8% from the same period in 2008. That’s about 37,000 fewer enplanements this year.

Total operations (either a takeoff or a landing) for the period January – July, 2009, are 13.7% below the same period in 2008 – 11,305 fewer operations.

Some trends I’ve been picking up over the past few weeks. This is not a scientific poll, but anecdotal.

Visitors to the island this year are making their plans on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before the weekend they plan to visit, instead of weeks in advance. Our guest houses are not full during the week, even in some weeks of high summer. Visitors are looking for the deal, and looking to bargain.

There seems to be as many weekend private jets here as there have been for the past few years, if not more. There have been more pilots looking for rooms at the last minute than in years past.

The number of visitors to the island in June and July were down about 20% to 30%. August for at least the first few weeks seemed as busy as usual – restaurants may have done as much business as they did last August, but that hasn’t made up for a slow June and July.

Weddings were down this spring, and will be again this fall. However, weddings for 2010 are looking strong again.

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