— Anecdotal reports of a strong summer tourism season are being confirmed by new Maine revenue figures showing sharp increases in restaurant and lodging revenues in July.

Maine Revenue Services reported Thursday that Maine lodging sales rose 13.4 percent in July over July 2009. Restaurant sales for July 2010 were up 5.9 percent over July 2009.

Maine Office of Tourism Director Patricia Eltman says she heard positive reports about tourism from throughout the state all season. Eltman says the numbers released Thursday support the anecdotal information.

Tourism officials say that in addition to the positive sales tax figures, CruiseMaineUSA reports an increase of 36,000 passengers on cruise ships to Maine ports this year.

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