Long, cold winter expected to heat up summer tourism in Delaware
A long and snowy winter will translate into a brisk summer for business at Delaware’s beach resorts this year, making it more important than ever that visitors plan their vacations in ways that avoid the traffic, state officials said at a press conference April 29.
“People are tired of the harsh winter. They’re ready for some sun, and in Delaware that means they’re ready for the beach,” said Linda Parkowski, director of the Delaware Tourism Office.
“We’re extremely optimistic that Delaware will see a solid bump in beach tourism,” added Parkowski.. “This year, we’re going into the season with even more pent-up energy among travelers, and some great new attractions that have increased awareness of Delaware.”
“We know Delaware beaches are a great driver of our economy, and we’re confident 2014 will be another banner year,” said Alan Levin, secretary of the Delaware Economic Development Office.
Anticipating the inevitable rise in summer traffic volume, Delaware Department of Transportation’s Chief Engineer Rob McCleary urged travelers to plan with traffic issues in mind - traveling during off-peak times, for example, or taking alternate routes. “Locals and return visitors know Delaware’s roads become more crowded on summer weekends and they plan accordingly,” McCleary said. “Newcomers can also benefit if they know and follow these strategies.”
Travelers should be cautious of GPS recommendations, McCleary added - the most direct routes aren’t always the quickest in heavy traffic, and knowing backup routes can be crucial when an accident slows traffic. “A side benefit of using a lesser-known route is the chance to see parts of rural Delmarva that others don’t often experience,” McClearysaid.
DelDOT’s Transportation Management Center uses various technologies to help manage seasonal traffic. These include constant monitoring of traffic sensors and cameras to adjust signal timing and communicate real-time road conditions. (Go to www.map.deldot.gov for more).
“Considering tourism is a $2.2 billion industry in Delaware, we want to make the travel experience here as pleasant as possible,” Levin said.
The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, Del., a division of the Delaware Economic Development Office, promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware.