PROVINCETOWN, MASS. (WHDH) - Provincetown businesses that rely on heavy summer traffic say they’re taking extra safety precautions to let tourists return to the area during what is usually the busiest time of the year.

About 3,000 people live in the town year-round, and the population usually explodes in the summer. But due to the pandemic, the streets have been empty and business is slow.

“I’ve had a lot of cancellations. Which is really difficult for hotels to absorb. When people ask for their money back,” said Stephen Azar, who owns and operates The Stowaway, a Provincetown bed and breakfast. He said he’s hoping for the trickle of returning tourists to turn into a flood.

“With the restaurants opening … people can grab a drink and all the beaches are open we’re seeing a lot of day-trippers. And I’m hoping those day-trippers start turning into weekend people,” Azar said, adding he’s hosting yoga and exercise outside as safety precautions.

Ferries to Provincetown are not currently running, but could start up in a few weeks. Azar asked longtime visitors to return to the area.

“We need you more than ever,” Azar said. “If you love your small business, this is the year to support your small business in any way you can.”

(Copyright (c) 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox