2017 Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Maine’s 2017 Governor’s Conference on Tourism was held at the Augusta Civic Center in Augusta, March 14-15. In spite of the challenges posed by the Tuesday snowstorm, over 300 industry participants from across the state attended the full conference day on the 15th


Governor’s Conference on Tourism Awards

Winners of the 2017 Governor’s Conference on Tourism Awards were announced at the Awards Luncheon during the conference. The awards recognize individuals, businesses and organizations that have distinguished themselves as models for the industry and contributing to the overall growth of tourism in Maine.

2017 recipients were:

Karen Arel, President Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce - Governor’s Award for Tourism Excellence

David Berg, Red Apple Campground - Leadership & Growth Award

Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce - Marketing & Promotion Award

Kerry Gallivan, Chimani Inc.  - Innovation & Creativity Award

Biddeford Mills Museum - Originality Award

Congratulations to the 2017 award winners!


Campaign Overview

The Maine Office of Tourism rolled out the fully integrated marketing plan for 2017 and new creative at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism in March.                                                                 

The full 2017 Annual Plan is available online and can be found on the Resources link at

Conference presentations are posted as available at


2016 Highlights

Highlights of the Maine Office of Tourism 2016 Annual Report showed that Maine’s tourism industry continues to grow.

-          Visitation increased by 5.8 % over 2015, including more than 5 million first time visitors.

-          Direct expenditures totaled nearly $6 Billion, an increase of 6.1% over 2015.

-          The estimated economic impact to Maine is over $8.8 billion.

-          Tourism in Maine supported 105,957 jobs in 2016.

-          Canadian visitation increased by 12% in 2016, to nearly 4.5 million visitors.


For more highlights and details on MOT activities see the Maine Office of Tourism 2016 Highlights Sheet and the 2016 Annual Report.


Read more about the conference –

Conference coverage and follow-up reporting included:

Maine Public Radio


Lewiston Sun Journal

Portland Press Herald

Travel and Tour World


Many thanks to our generous 2017 Sponsors and Exhibitors, to our Marjie Wright Scholarship Raffle Donors, and to our hosts at the Augusta Civic Center!


Marsden Hartley’s Maine  - The state office of tourism partnered with the Metropolitan Museum of Art to hold a the press reception for the opening of the “Marsden Hartley’s Maine” exhibit at The Met Breuer in New York. The Office of Tourism is leveraging the exhibit to promote Maine’s cultural heritage by providing itineraries that cover the locations throughout the state that inspired the artist. An AP article reporting on the exhibit was picked up by dozens of publications across the country.

This major exhibition will run from March 15 through June 18, 2017. Visitors can also see the show for a second time this summer and fall, in the painter's native Maine, when it moves to the Colby College Museum of Art from July 8 through November 12, 2017. A map tracing the locations throughout the state that inspired Hartley, and museums and libraries that feature more of Hartley's original work, is now available at

March Results -  Additonal direct results from PR efforts include a story in Cape Air Bird’s Eye View; Huffington Post article on reason to visit the Northeast U.S.; Epoch Times story on windjamming skiing article on the blog, The Girl and Globe; and Maine was included in articles on,, Essence, Roaming the Americas, National Parks Traveler and The Daily Telegraph (UK). In addition to the Marsden Hartley’s Maine AP article mentioned above, other articles on the exhibit appeared in, Everett Potter’s Travel Report and the Huffington Post


State of the Travel Industry 2017 – In this video report, US Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow offers insight into the current state and future outlook of the travel industry. Dow reports that tourism continues to generate trillions in economic output nationally and support millions of American jobs, benefiting communities across the United States. 

US Travel Association Annual Report – USTA, the national tourism advocacy organization, reports on progress, challenges, and milestones for the industry in 2016.

Tourists to the U.S. Set a New Spending Record Last Year – An article by says that according to data from the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office, international visitors to the United States spent more in 2016 than they did in 2015, despite the strength of the U.S. dollar against many foreign currencies and a slowing of international visitors.


Adventure Travel Trends -  According to Travel Pulse, a recent Virtuoso survey on destinations and activities showed that several factors are driving adventure travel’s popularity: communing with nature, checking experiences off a bucket list, spending quality family time together on family, multigenerational trips, and the ability of today’s older travelers to be more active due to improved longevity and health.


"Maineland" - A documentary filmed in part at Fryeburg Academy debuted at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival in March. Filmed over three years in China and the U.S., MAINELAND is a multi-layered coming-of-age tale that follows two affluent and cosmopolitan teenagers from China as they settle into a boarding school in blue-collar rural Maine. Watch the film trailer.


The Maine Tourism Association's annual meeting offers networking with Maine tourism leaders, industry exhibits, and the Hall of Fame awards luncheon.

When: May 12, 2017 , 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Where: Jonathan's, Ogunquit, Maine


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