“Aroostook County has to do its fair share, and this is how you learn how to do what needs to be done,” said Steve Dobson, who owns both of the Aroostook Hospitality Inns.
He says every year the state brings in more than five billion dollars in tourism and the county only gets one percent of that, and he’d like to see that change.
“We do that by promoting what we already have, promoting the people that are here, and promoting our beauty,” he said.
Dobson is a member of the Aroostook County Board of Tourism that puts on the annual event. This year folks were able to learn about how using visitmaine.com and visitaroostook.com can help them out. The director of the Maine Office of Tourism presented the state’s 5 year strategic plan for tourism which she says is not so much geography based, but values based.
Carolann Ouellette said, “what it means to be in Maine and this experience or story can be in any place that you choose in many instances but you also have to show the iconic parts and pieces that distinguish the destination.”
Ouellette says the four pillars of the strategic plan are developing the tourism pipeline, growing off season visitation, protecting Maine’s tourism assets, and making tourism a shared imperative. This summer is expected to be a big one as far as bringing people to the valley especially. Coordinator’s Assistant Dona Saucier was there to talk to folks about the World Acadian Congress.
“They’re coming to Northern Maine because this is a unique opportunity for them something they may not get elsewhere and we take pride in our community and we want to express our pride and have them see the beauty we see in our area,” she said.
Saucier expects between 20 and 50 thousand people from all over the world to come to the congress that starts August 8th.