Hassan And Lamontagne Discuss N.H. Tourism At Summit

Oct 3, 2012

Maggie Hassan speaking at a tourism summit in Concord
Credit Jonathan Lynch / NHPR

Both gubernatorial candidates Maggie Hassan and Ovide Lamontagne say the state’s tourism efforts are important but must be weighed against budget concerns.

Lamontagne and Hassan appeared at a tourism summit in Concord Wednesday morning, answering audience-submitted questions from tourism businesses owners.

Both candidates say they wouldn’t support an increase in the Meals and Rentals tax -- the second largest source of revenue for the state.

However, Hassan stated that she wouldn’t rule out raising tolls and the gas tax, but said it’s not likely.

Lamontagne offered up several initiatives to stimulate the tourism sector, including leasing out the state’s rest areas to private vendors, commercializing the ski operation on Cannon Mountain, and issuing uniforms to some state employees:

“How about this: What if our state employees had a sort of positive uniform. I don’t mean a rigid uniform, I mean something that spoke about New Hampshire, something that promoted New Hampshire.”

Hassan says the state’s tourism industry needs more skilled workers, and wants to see the state facilitate a better relationship between schools and businesses.

Both candidates support bringing gambling to the Granite State as a way to encourage tourism.

Tourists spent $4.2 billion last year in New Hampshire.