The Maine Governor’s Conference on Tourism takes place in just a few weeks! We are very excited to bring you our 2017 speaker line-up, workshops and breakout sessions focusing on critical issues for the growth of Maine tourism.

A few highlights:

-       DECD Commissioner George Gervais and Department of Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette will be joined onstage by Live & Work in Maine CEO Ed McKersie for a discussion of workforce development challenges and opportunities.

-       The Office of Tourism will report on results from 2016 marketing efforts and roll out the 2017 marketing campaign and creative.

-       Keynoter Berkeley Young will provide insights and tools for designing tourism experiences, and increasing visitation and revenue at Maine destinations.

-       Best-selling digital marketing expert Daniel Lemin will discuss the top ten digital trends for 2017, and present a “how to” breakout session on managing your online reputation as a marketing tool.

-       More “how to” sessions: National tourism marketing consultant Neville Bahda will present a breakout session on small budget marketing; Captain John Nicolai will present a session on creating an immersive tourism experience; Jennifer Simmons, VP of Brand Strategy and Research at BVK, will present a session on working with the Canadian market based on a recent MOT market analysis; Nathan O’Leary of Mainely SEO will conduct a workshop on getting the most value from Google Analytics.

-       2017 Awards Luncheon recognition of tourism businesses, organizations and individuals for excellence in four categories: Marketing and Promotion; Leadership and Growth; Innovation and Creativity; and the Governor’s Award for Tourism Excellence.

-       The return of Celebration Barn Theater as Maine’s “most wanted” travel segment personas – the “Genuine Original”, the “Balanced Achiever”, and the “Social Sophisticate”.

All conference presentations are designed to add new tools and sharpen the existing skills of Maine’s tourism professionals to help us grow together as an industry. See the full agenda.

Please plan on joining us for the two-day conference to be held at the Augusta Civic Center on March 14th & 15th, and the evening welcome reception on Tuesday March 14th at the Governor Hill Mansion. We look forward to partnering with you in 2017, and hope to see you there!
Register here.


Digital insights - A year over year performance analysis of showed a 16% increase in sessions in January 2017 over the same period in 2016.

-       The Share of Traffic from Mobile Devices increased by 11%, from 46.6% in 2016 to 51.5% in 2017.

-       Sessions from Organic Search increased 31%.


Taxable sales - Maine Revenue Service reported 2016 combined Restaurant and Lodging Taxable Sales increased by 7.32% YTD through November 2016 over the same period in 2015. YTD through November 2016 Restaurant Taxable Sales increased by 6.40% over the same period in 2015, and YTD through November 2016 Lodging Taxable Sales increased by 9.90% over the same period in 2015.

2016 tourism visitation and economic impact estimates from MOT research will be reported at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

Domestic Business Travel - The the U.S. Travel Association’s latest Travel Trends Index Leading Travel Index (LTI) indicates that domestic business travel’s growth rate will catch up to that of domestic leisure travel according to an article in 
The index showed overall travel to and within the U.S. grew 2.4 percent from December 2015, while the forecast component shows that travel will continue to expand at a moderate pace in the near term. 

Somerset County Cultural Survey - The Wesserunsett Arts Council and Main Street Skowhegan are gathering information about cultural resources in Somerset County, including those related to recreation, agriculture, the arts, history, community, and more, to craft a cultural plan that will leverage and promote those resources to help drive tourism to the region and boost the economy. Whether you live, work, or just spend time in Somerset County, you are invited to participate in shaping the cultural plan through the Public Opinion Survey, and also through an Artist & Performer Survey, and Business & Cultural Organization Survey for those who fit those categories.

James Beard Award Semifinalists – Maine continues to be recognized for our culinary scene, with twelve Maine chefs and restaurants selected as semi-finalists for the 2017 James Beard Awards.


January Results - As a result of PR efforts, 14 travel articles featuring Maine appeared nationally during the month of January, including a Boston Globe story on winter weekend get-aways, a New York Times story on the Camden Snowbowl Toboggan Championships,  a Los Angeles Times piece on the Cryptozoological Museum, an article on Books and Brews in Portland Maine in Paste Magazine, a responsible travel guide to Western Maine in the blog Roaming the Americas, inclusion in a USA Today compilation of beautiful small towns and in Huffington Post stories on Historic Upscale LodgingsBed & Breakfasts, Best College Art and History Museums, and Northeast Inns. The articles are estimated to have reached 688,000 readers and resulted in more than 6,000 social media shares.

Marsden Hartley's Maine - The Office of Tourism will be partnering with New York City's The Met Breuer on their March exhibit, Marsden Hartley's Maine.The exhibit will be coming to Colby Museum of Art in July. This is an excellent opportunity to tie together the exhibit, Maine's rich arts scene and the places in Maine that inspired Hartley. MOT will be supporting this project with press releases, social media outreach and targeted media pitching, as well as bringing arts, travel and lifestyle media to Maine this summer/fall to experience Marsden Hartley's Maine on their own. 

PR Partners - The PR team at Nancy Marshall Communications has been very active screening requests and planning visits from the travel media for 2017.  To connect your business with travel writers visiting Maine,join our PR Partners program.


Association of Film Commissioners International  - The Association of Film Commissioners International named Maine Film Office director Karen Carberry Warhola as Treasurer of the Board at the AFCI's January 2017 meeting.

The director also attended the Sundance Film Festival in January to promote Maine as a filming location to filmmakers and industry VIPs from around the world.


Travel Trade - MOT exhibited at the American Bus Association 2017 Marketplace in Cleveland, OH January 12-17, with 3300 tour operators, bus companies, DMOs and service & product suppliers in attendance.  MOT held individual appointments with 51 tour operators. 10 Maine Delegates from the Maine Motorcoach Network also attended. Maine partnered with the New England states in a New England Passport Raffle allowing for the collection of more than 200 tour operator contacts.   Maine also partnered with Vermont and Cabot Cheese to serve Lobster Macaroni and Cheese during the opening Reception.

Consumer shows – In January, MOT exhibited at the Washington DC Travel Adventure Show, with over 20,000 attendees, and the New York Times Travel Show with 29,000 attending. Booth staff included regional representatives from the Maine Highlands, Maine Lakes and Mountains, Bar Harbor and Downeast & Acadia regions, an IFW warden, and Maine Windjammer Association captains.

International - Maine participated in the Dublin World Holiday Travel Show and the Destinations - London consumer show in collaboration with the other New England states as a member of the Discover New England Booth. The UK is one of Maine’s primary overseas sending markets. A combined total of 500 Maine Invites You brochures and Maine maps were distributed to interested attendees at the shows.

2017 DNE Annual Summit & International Marketplace - Appointment Scheduling Opens this Week!

Key Dates:

-       Appointments open for the suppliers on Feb 22.

-       Appointments open for the buyers on Mar 1.

-       Appointments close on March 24

-       Summit: April 24-26

Where: Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, NH

Each year Discover New England (DNE) hosts 80+ international tour operators and US receptive operators. This annual event allows New England tourism-based businesses to participate in one-on-one introductory meetings with overseas tour operators, and New England-based companies that contract tours to sell to tour operators.

Registration and Information

2017 Mid-Atlantic States Sales Mission

Maine Motorcoach Network is currently seeking participants and sponsorships for a Sales Mission to the Mid-Atlantic States to promote group friendly business and itineraries in Maine.

When: May, 2017

Registration and information

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