The NH Site Evaluation Committee recently heard testimony on how Northern Pass relates to tourism in the state. Below is information about tourism expert Mitch Nichols and his testimony.
MITCH NICHOLS is Founder and President of Nichols Tourism Group in Bellingham, Washington. He has more than 20 years of experience working with and analyzing tourism destinations across the country. He has worked with states including Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Washington to develop a long-range tourism strategic plan and an assessment of its identity in the tourism marketplace. Mr. Nichols has also worked on broad strategic planning efforts for destinations like Sarasota, Florida, the Mt. Hood region in Oregon, and Ashville, North Carolina, as well as heritage destinations such as Jamestown, Yorktown, and Williamsburg, Virginia. Mr. Nichols has provided an assessment of the New Hampshire tourism industry in relation to the Northern Pass project.
- Northern Pass will not affect regional travel demand or have a measurable effect on New Hampshire’s tourism industry
- Nichols research included examining data from New Hampshire’s Division of Travel and TourismDevelopment, Plymouth State University’s Institute for New Hampshire Studies, interviews with representatives from the state’s tourism industry, a prospective visitors’ survey, and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data
- There are no published studies that address the quantitative impacts of transmission lines to a destination’s tourism industry
- Nichols review of an existing transmission line in Maine and another in New Hampshire provides no indication that the number of tourism establishments and employees was negatively affected by the construction and operation of those lines
- A survey of prospective visitors from key feeder markets to New Hampshire supports Mr. Nichols’ overall opinion that it is the collective mix of destination attributes that influences visitors’ choice of destination, and the presence of power lines is of very low importance
- Nichols’ research found that visitors come to New Hampshire because of the diversity of experiences, the state’s ease of access, and its general affordability. The presence, or absence, of transmission lines does not drive their decision to choose New Hampshire. Even for those New Hampshire visitors who have a negative attitude towards transmission lines, other destination factors are of far greater importance in their travel decisions
For More Information:
Northern Pass’ application to the NH Site Evaluation Committee; Vol. II; Pre-Filed Testimony; Nichols