Officials at the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development announced on Friday that they project there will be 3.45 million visitors to the Granite State this summer.

Those people are expected to spend $1.8 billion dollars, helping to drive an industry rebound to near 2019 levels.

Taylor Caswell, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs, said during an event in Franklin that tourism is a critical part of the state's economy.

"It creates jobs, generates income and helps attract new residents to New Hampshire as a great place to live and work," Caswell said.

Caswell said industry efficiencies made throughout the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to serve as valuable tools for years to come. He asked travelers to make reservations in advance before traveling to the Granite State.

Some hotels in Portsmouth are already booked at 90 percent capacity on the weekends.

Lori Harnois, who serves as the state's director of tourism, said a digital advertising campaign is set to roll out this month and is targeted at the residents of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Ohio.

"The emphasis will be on hiking, boating, camping and family fun as key summer activities, while also showcasing kid-friendly activities and attractions along with the state's dining and shopping opportunities," Harnois said.

On the Seacoast, state and local officials at Hampton Beach are hoping for a return to normal. The Hampton Beach Village District has scheduled 23 fireworks displays at the beach.

A special show will take place during the Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting Classic on June 19. Voting takes place from 1 to 3 p.m. on that day and the awards ceremony for the competition is at 7 p.m.

The Hampton Beach Seafood Festival is also planned for Sept. 10 to 12.

All of these events help to draw tourists to the beach community each year, and make significant impacts on the local economy.

Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at Kimberley.Haas@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @KimberleyHaas.

Portsmouth and the Seacoast Prepare for Summer 2021

With COVID-19 vaccinations on the rise and the number of new cases falling Gov. Chris Sununu is optimistic about the prospects for a good summer for travel and tourism. Valerie Rochon, president of the Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth shares the governor's enthusiasm for a strong summer season.