Saturday,  October 19, 2019  9:00 pm

New Hampshire & Porter: Skiing, shopping and more in store

New Hampshire & Porter: Skiing, shopping and more in store
(From left): Brad Cicero, director - communications & public affairs, Porter Airlines; Taylor Caswell, commissioner, New Hampshire Department of Business & Economic Affairs.
Blake Wolfe

Blake Wolfe is an award-winning journalist and editor, who joined PAX after nearly 10 years in Canada’s newspaper industry. In addition to PAX, his work has been featured in publications such as the Metroland Media group of newspapers and the Toronto Sun.

Through a new marketing partnership with Porter Airlines, New Hampshire is hoping to draw more Canadians to the slopes and shops of the Granite State in 2019.

The two partners welcomed the travel trade to learn more about the state’s tourism promotion in Canada for 2019. With the state’s historic general stores and tax-free shopping among New Hampshire’s tourism draws, attendees were invited to shop the shelves of a pop-up general store, filled with local New Hampshire products including coffee, pancake mixes and handicrafts.

Taylor Caswell, commissioner for the New Hampshire Department of Business & Economic Affairs, described the state’s tourism offer as “diversity within proximity,” citing the wide variety of landscapes (from the peaks of the White Mountains to its small Atlantic Coast) and related outdoor activities.

“New Hampshire is usually one part of a New England trip for most travellers, but we have a lot of different things here – we’re not a one-trick pony,” Caswell told PAX. “During the winter, it’s mainly about skiing. In the summer, it’s all about shopping; the whole tax-free thing is very appealing. Many people come and stay a week and rent a house right on Lake Winnipesaukee or go down to the sea coast.

“One of the challenges is that we have so many things to offer – you can’t just pick one thing and market it. Maine has lobsters and beaches, Vermont has maple syrup and rolling hills – we have craggy mountains and unique community on our Atlantic coast, and in the west we have another experience in Monadnock near our border with Massachusetts.”

Taylor Caswell, commissioner for the New Hampshire Department of Business & Economic Affairs

Granite State gateway

While Quebec is currently the state’s strongest visitor market within Canada due to its shared border, arrivals from Toronto are also on the rise, a market which he hopes will increase with the new Porter partnership.

Porter spokesman Brad Cicero told PAX that while a direct flight to New Hampshire’s Manchester–Boston Regional Airport could eventually become a reality, the airline is currently marketing its service to Boston Logan International Airport as a gateway to the Granite State. Plans are also under consideration for the creation of a Porter Escapes product featuring New Hampshire hotels, Cicero said.

“There’s a possibility that we’re going to get into New Hampshire directly in the future, but at this point, there’s a few things that need to happen like U.S. Customs pre-clearance at Billy Bishop, which is an ongoing effort,” Cicero said. “We’re hoping that will come to fruition in the next year or so. But we’re looking at destinations like Manchester to see what we can do there.”

“For now, we want people to know that there’s option to get into the New England area by flying with Porter.”