Jack Rollins was at his post in the Oak Bluffs information booth on Labor Day. At the foot of Circuit avenue, at the intersection of everything, a steady trickle of tourists approached the yellow booth asking which bus to take, or how to get to the gingerbread houses. Every time someone comes up to the booth with a question, he clicks a little silver counter. He clicked it a lot this summer. More than last year, he said.

“Many, many more people,” Mr. Rollins said.

Summer passenger traffic to and from the Vineyard, 2011 to 2015. — Source: Steamship Authority

Clicks at the information booth, as well as the traffic in familiar trouble spots, and the long waits at restaurants, reflect what several Island merchants said as the season winds down.

“Everybody I’ve talked to said there were more people out here than they’ve ever seen,” said Christine Todd, executive director of the Oak Bluffs Association. “A lot of people haven’t really tallied up their success level at this point, they’re just coming up for air.”

There were more inquiries at the information booth in the summer months than any period since the Oak Bluffs Association began tracking the statistic. In July, there were 12,883 inquiries, up 12.2 per cent over July 2014, which Ms. Todd considered a busy year. In August, there were 15,055 inquiries, also an increase of 12.2 per cent over August of last summer.

“The population of shoppers, browsers and ice cream eaters is definitely up,” Ms. Todd said.

Summer automotive traffic to and from the Vineyard, 2011 to 2015. — Source: Steamship Authority

Confirming the trend, traffic on Steamship Authority ferries increased across the board in July and August.

In July, the SSA counted 17,064 more passenger trips between Woods Hole and Martha’s Vineyard than last July, an increase of 4.9 per cent. There were similar increases in automobiles, small trucks and larger freight trucks.

August was also a strong month, with an increase of 9,608 passenger trips, representing a 2.5 per cent increase over last April. There was a corresponding increase in automobiles and freight.

Most Island business people in the tourism sector said spending was up. They attributed the increase to a variety of factors, including an improving national economy, lower gas prices, good publicity and an unbroken stretch of hot, sunny beach days. But good weather doesn’t always translate to increased business for downtown merchants.

Ferry traffic was well up over last year. — Jeanna Shepard

“Because the weather was so good, everyone went to the beach every day,” Ms. Todd said. “You didn’t have those rainy days where everybody slams the stores."

Maria Kosmetatos and David Renwick traveled from Portland, Ore., to the Vineyard for a September vacation. As they strolled down Main street in Edgartown, they considered how they fit into an improving economy.

“I’d say our situation is a little better than last year,” Mr. Renwick said. A cross-country trip is unusual for them, they usually vacation closer to home.

“This is the farthest we’ve come,” Ms. Kosmetatos said. “We came with four other friends, rented a house for a week. That’s a sign we were able to save more and come here.”

Oak Bluffs harborfront was a crowded scene. — Jeanna Shepard

Annie Cooke-Ennis, manager of Backwater Trading Company in Edgartown and president of the Edgartown Board of Trade, said she saw lots of first-time visitors this summer like Mr. Renwick and Ms. Kosmetatos.

“I’m very happy with the crowds,” she said. “I think there are more people, especially in July and early August, and a lot of new visitors to the Island. As we talked to our customers, a lot of first timers, checking the Island out.”

She attributed an uptick in tourism in part to some favorable publicity.

“The New York Times did a couple of features on some of our local businesses, and the 36-hour travel series,” Ms. Cooke-Ennis said. “Obviously presidential visits bring a little attention to the Island as well.”

Many first-time visitors appeared on the Island this year. — Jeanna Shepard

Phil Hughes was frantically working to fix a bicycle at his rental shop Wheel Happy in Edgartown this week. He needed nearly every bike he had to meet the demand. Covered in grease up to his elbows, and sweating in 80-degree weather, he said summer business was “holy cow” good.

“I would say as good as we’ve ever done,” Mr. Hughes said. “There were a lot of people. We had a great June, had one of the best Labor Days we’ve ever had. The weather cooperated. I definitely think the economy is stronger. This year people were ready to spend.”

In Vineyard Haven, photographer Michael Johnson said he had a great summer at his gallery just off Main street, where he sells his fine art images.

“People did not seem reticent, as they have in past years, to spend their money on artwork,” Mr. Johnson said. “I think the economy has definitely improved on the Island. I think people’s perception of it is improved, which is more important sometimes. They feel confident they can spend extra money, because artwork is one of the first things they will stop buying. The bills come first. When they’re buying art they are definitely showing confidence in the economy.”