OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Northern New England’s tourism industry is rebounding from a dismal 2009 with help from weeks on end of ideal weather.

Hotel occupancy rates are up, more people are stopping at visitor information centers and highway traffic has risen. Businesses in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont that rely on tourists say more customers – but not free-spending ones – are coming through their doors.

Ami Ben, owner of Paradise Beachwear in Maine’s beach-side tourist mecca of Old Orchard Beach, is glad to see crowds back after last summer’s poor showing with incessant rains and a bleak economy.

But he says many customers are looking only for discounted deals, and a lot are paying by credit card because they don’t have the cash.


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