Columbus Day

Kimberly Vardeman / Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire tourism officials are forecasting all-time highs for visitors and spending this fall season, with a good chunk of the travel occurring over Columbus Day Weekend.

The New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism is expecting 9.8 million visitors to spend $1.5 billion throughout the fall. The figures represent increases of 4 percent and 5 percent, respectively, over last fall.

The division says scenic drives and outdoor recreation will remain the most popular activities, followed by visiting farm stands, orchards, festivals, and family.

The town of Durham is lobbying the state to adopt a new holiday.

Earlier this month, Durham became the first town in the state to establish an Indigenous Peoples’ Day - in lieu of Columbus Day.

Now town councilors there are urging the governor and state lawmakers to consider doing the same.

Durham Town Administrator Todd Selig says the debate in Durham was good for the community, and that a similar one could be good for the state.

Town councilors in Durham are holding off on a new resolution to create a new town holiday honoring European explorers and Native Americans on the same day as Columbus Day.

Durham's town council was considering a proposal Monday to create "The Age of Exploration and Indigenous Peoples' Day" on the second Monday in October - effectively replacing Columbus Day. Town Council Chairperson Kitty Marple motioned to table discussion until the next meeting on Sept. 18, citing the late hour.