Maine received a prestigious 2017 Mercury Award at the U.S. Travel Association ESTO conference in August, in recognition of the Maine Office of Tourism’s 2016 Instagram Influencer campaign.

Working with the state’s tourism marketing agency BVK, MOT brought a group of prominent Instagram photographers to Maine for a week in summer 2016 to experience the culture, people and landscapes of our state, while producing a compelling visual narrative to promote the destination along the way.

MOT sent the five Instagram “Influencers” to each of the eight regions of the state. Their daily posts on Instagram and Facebook promoted Maine using the state tourism campaign hashtag #MaineThing, while tagging each region and @VisitMaine for additional exposure. Photography assets captured during the program were also used to produce new landing pages on to highlight each of the state’s eight regions.

Read the Maine Thing Quarterly article about the Instagram Influencer visit.


Online applications are now being accepted for the Fall 2017 round of Tourism Enterprise Marketing Grants and Special Event Marketing Grants at

The Tourism Enterprise Marketing Grants program was established in 2014 to support the tourism-related projects of permanent Maine-based non-profit 501C-3, 501C-6 or LC3 incorporated organizations whose primary purpose is to promote and expand tourism in Maine. The funds support marketing efforts that can help them grow or launch new initiatives. Grants are reviewed and awarded biannually, and range from $2,500-$10,000.

The deadline to apply is November 3, 2017.  See the MOT Marketing Grant Guidelines at


Destination NEXT - Help shape the future of tourism in your region!

The Maine Office of Tourism is working with Destinations International and Maine’s eight regional marketing organizations to explore the strength of their tourism destination, and level of community engagement. MOT will receive a statewide report as the result of this work, and each region will receive an individualized report outlining strengths and areas that need more focus.

As Maine tourism industry stakeholders, we need your input! Please take the online survey and give us your input regarding tourism in your region. 

The review process also includes regional meetings with community stakeholders. Four regions were visited in April 2017; the team will visit and survey the remaining regions October 16-19, 2017.

For dates, locations and registration in your region email:

Aroostook County – Alain Ouellette

Downeast & Acadia – Crystal Hitchings

Maine’s Midcoast & Islands – Jenna Howard

The Maine Beaches – Paige Farmer


What’s new with you? The Maine Office of Tourism is preparing materials to use in promoting Maine at consumer travel and tour operator shows beginning October 2017 through June 2018. Please send us any information we can share for 2018 about your new or upgraded:

  • Attractions
  • Restaurants
  • Lodging
  • Events

Email with updates.


Experience Maritime Maine, a partnership of organizations and regions that promote and celebrate the heritage, culture, and beauty of Maine’s coast, recently launched “SALTS & WATER,” a six-part audio series, offering a unique and creative opportunity for listeners to experience the people and places along Maine’s coast in sound.

L.L. Bean’s new ad campaign invites customers to “Be an Outsider", going back to its roots and focusing on having fun outdoors. 

Waterville Creates! has launched a new website at WatervilleCreates.orgThe improved website features an easy-to-use art and community event calendar, includes a new online presence for Common Street Arts, Waterville Creates! Programmatic arm, and provides easy links to Waterville Creates!’ online ticket system to better serve its partners, the region’s art organizations, and the artists of the Kennebec Valley communities.

BikeMaine 2018 will go to Aroostook County next September for a week-long exploration of the St. John Valley region. The specific towns that BikeMaine 2018 will visit will be announced in February at the Coalition’s annual Kick-off Party, which signals the start of Maine’s cycling season.

Recent results of Maine’s PR program include: stories about Maine Lighthouses and Open Lighthouse Day in Boston CurbedHendrik WintjenNorth Shore MagazineYankee Magazine and the Scottish Sun; a story on the Maine Maritime Museum “Into the Lantern” exhibit in the Boston Globe; Monhegan included in a feature on island destinations with no cars in Coastal Living Magazine; a GQ feature on the Best Lobster Rolls in Maine;  Maine’s Solar System Model featured in the UK’s Daily Telegraph; stories about Stephen King’s Bangor in the UK’s The Independent and Quebec’s Le Devoir; a Portland food feature in Lonely Planet; surfing at Higgin’s Beach feature in Off Metro; and stories on Taking the Kids to Acadia in Travel Agent Central and
2018 Governor's Conference on Tourism


 When: April 2-3, 2018

Where: Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland, Maine

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