PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The summer may be over now that Labor Day has come and gone, but that does not mean the end of the tourist season in Maine.
The summer season remains crucial for the state's $7.7 billion-per-year tourism industry, but the leaf-peeping season has become the biggest money maker for hotels and restaurants.
Dick Grotton, president and chief executive of the Maine Restaurant Association, tells The Portland Press Herald (http://bit.ly/PYv27r ) that Columbus Day weekend is the biggest holiday of the year as bus tours and leaf peepers invade the state.
Experts are expecting a better-than-average foliage season.
The fall also marks the busiest time for cruise ships along the coast. A total of 38 ships with a capacity of more than 20,000 passengers will enter Portland in September and October.
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