A tourism season that has been a bit uneven so far got a big boost from the visit of the tall ships to Portland this month.

“It was wildly successful,” Greg Dugal, executive director of the Maine Innkeepers Association, said of the three-day event. “The hotels were sold out – all the hotels in the Portland region.”

Dugal said the bounty extended beyond the hotels and motels to restaurants – he saw crowds at all the restaurants he went by in the city on the night of July 18, the day the tall ships staged their Parade of Sail and arrived in Portland Harbor.

“It was just insane,” he said. “Every restaurant had a line out the door, waiting.”

“The city was extremely busy and everyone was extremely pleased,” agreed Lynn Tillotson, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Portland Convention and Visitors Bureau.

But Dugal said one weekend doesn’t make the summer tourist season in Maine. It’s not unusual for many hotels and restaurants to be crowded simply because nice weather draws tourists escaping the heat in Massachusetts or New York. Last-minute travel plans have become the norm as people abandon the idea of a long-planned family vacation in favor of more spur-of-the-moment trips, industry officials say.

“It’s always hard to determine how much is due to an event,” Dugal said while cautioning that he didn’t want to minimize the impact of the tall ships drawing people to Portland and filling up all the rooms. Actual numbers of lodging and restaurant sales won’t be available from the state until September.

So far, Dugal said, the summer has been mostly positive for those in the Maine hospitality industry, although a poor exchange rate seems to be crimping Canadian tourism.

And Dugal said a worrisome trend that he’s heard of from hotels and motels in southern Maine is a drop in business on Mondays and Tuesdays, which he attributes to more people opting for weeklong house rentals instead of hotel stays. The hotels still get the drive-up traffic on weekends, but are missing out midweek.

In a dozen years as head of the innkeepers’ group, Dugal said a sharp drop in early-week business is a complaint he’s never heard before.

He said another factor could be the decline in the value of the Canadian dollar, which makes it more expensive for Canadians to vacation in the United States, so they’re cutting their stays short. Or it could be that people are staying in Maine using services such as Airbnb, which makes it easy to rent all or part of a private home by booking online.

But Audrey Leeds Miller, the head of Vacation Rental Professionals of Maine, said July was actually slow for many of her members. The trade association has 14 member companies across the state that manage and broker rental homes in Maine. She said many of her members handle the second homes owned by out-of-staters who rent out their Maine properties most of the summer, although they typically set aside a week or two for their own families to use the property.

Miller believes the bad weather over the winter took a hit on family budgets, with higher heating costs. And, Miller said, some school districts had so many snow days that the end of school bumped up against the beginning of July, messing up plans for a quick family getaway.

“People are strapped for money and those that are coming are looking at the lower-end properties,” Miller said.

Curiously, Miller said many people are already booking homes for the summer of 2016 at a pretty good clip. She said that may suggest they’re skipping a big vacation this year, but planning to come next year and hoping that winter weather doesn’t foul up family budgets.

Tillotson, with the Greater Portland Convention and Visitors Bureau, said there are no other big events in Portland this summer, but her organization is hoping that the tourism season will get stretched out this year.

Typically it ends on Columbus Day weekend, drawing leaf-peepers to Maine before the trees go bare. But she said the Harvest on the Harbor in the city is increasingly seen as an anchor to the tourist season, getting people to the state one more time beyond the traditional end of the season. Media estimates placed last year’s crowd at 4,000 people.

This year, the food and wine festival is scheduled for Oct. 21-25.

Tillotson said the 2014 event drew people from 32 states and four countries. Most of the ticket buyers were from Maine, she said, but about half of those from in-state came from far enough away that they might have needed lodging. About one in eight came from Massachusetts and probably stayed overnight, she said, while about 30 percent came from other states and likely stayed in a hotel or motel.

Tillotson said sales this year are running ahead of last year, although she couldn’t provide specific figures.