You are invited to join tourism business leaders and other stakeholders for a day-long retreat to:
We hope you will join other business, non-profit and state agency leaders on May 6 in Bangor to discuss destination development strategies that will benefit communities and businesses across the Maine Woods.
Scroll down to review the full Event Agenda
This event is organized by the Maine Woods Consortium — a network of non-profits, businesses, and state agencies dedicated to a balanced approach to development and conservation in the Maine Woods. To learn more, visit www.mainewoodsconsortium.org or contact a member of the Consortium Coordinating Team.
Jim Batey, Somerset Economic Development Corporation; Keith Bisson, Coastal Enterprises, Inc.; Roxanne Eflin, Maine Downtown Center; Mike Eisensmith, Northern Maine Development Commission; Alison Hagerstrom, Greater Franklin Development Corporation; Mary Ann Hayes, Maine Rural Partners; Dina Jackson, Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments; Sarah Medina, Seven Islands Land Company; Fred Michaud, Maine Department of Transportation; Carolann Ouellette, Maine Office of Tourism; Jennifer Peters, Sunrise County Economic Development Council; Mia Purcell, Western Maine Economic Development Council; Tanya Swain, Western Mountains Alliance; Bryan Wentzell, Appalachian Mountain Club; Andy Whitman, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences; Mike Wilson, Northern Forest Center; Robin Zinchuk, Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce.
9:00 – 9:20 Welcome & Progress Report from 2012 (Tourism Training & Quality Label)
Mike Wilson, Senior Program Director, Northern Forest Center
9:20 – 9:45 Update from the Maine Office of Tourism
Carolann Ouellette, Director of the Maine Office of Tourism, will present a brief
overview of the Office of Tourism’s 2013 marketing plan and new campaign touching
on brand platform, strategies, objectives and target markets.
9:45 – 10:45 Keynote Presentation — Robert Reid, US Travel Editor for Lonely Planet
Robert will discuss Lonely Planet’s selection of Northern Maine as one of its Top 10
US Travel Destinations for 2013, what travelers look for in top quality destinations and
strategic opportunities for the Maine Woods.
10:45 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 12:15 Destination Development Panel Discussion
ο Tim Tierney — Kingdom Trails Association, Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom
ο Cathy Conway — New Hampshire Grand, Northern New Hampshire
ο Robin Zinchuk — Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce, Western Maine
12:15 – 1:00 Lunch
1:00 – 2:15 Place-based Destination Area Working Groups
Groups will use an assessment tool developed in Nova Scotia to evaluate their local
areas against 10 critical elements of successful destination areas and use the results
to guide discussion of related challenges and opportunities.
2:15 – 2:30 Destination Area Assessment
Each group reports on their overall destination area assessment with a focus on the
top two strengths and weaknesses, challenges and opportunities, and potential
3:15 – 3:45 Discussion of Common Maine Woods Destination Area Themes &
3:45 – 4:00 Wrap up: Next Steps & Acknowledgements
Robert Reid, the US Travel Editor for Lonely Planet, has written and edited for the company since 1999. He’s updated guidebooks far-flung (Burma, Trans-Siberian Railway) and closer to home (New York City, USA), and hosts the decidedly self-made ’76-Second Travel Show.’ He regularly appears on national TV and radio programs including the Today Show, ABC’s 20/20, Fox & Friends and CNN’s Headline News. He also keeps his own site at www.reidontravel.com.
Carolann Ouellette was named Director of the Maine Office of Tourism in February 2011 after serving with the Office since 2007. Carolann is responsible for the overall operations of the Offices of Tourism and Film. She provides the strategic direction and planning for the major elements of the office’s integrated marketing programs, including Advertising, Media Relations, International Promotions, Research, Product Development and Special Promotions. Prior to joining MOT, Carolann owned and operated the Moose Point Tavern in Jackman, Maine, for 10 years.
Cathy Conway is Vice President of Economic Development for Northern Community Investment Corporation. She provides guidance and management for over $5 million in projects across New Hampshire’s North Country and the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont — including the New Hampshire Grand tourism development program in Coos County, NH. Since 2007, the New Hampshire Grand brand has become recognized throughout the state and beyond and served as a convening point for tourism interests across the North Country. Coos County’s first tourism website, www.nhgrand.com, has attracted over 25,000 unique visitors in the last year alone.
Tim Tierney is Executive Director of Kingdom Trail Association in East Burke, Vermont — a not-for-profit organization that provides a year-round recreational trail system for locals and visitors while stimulating the economy via tourism. Before joining Kingdom Trails, Tim served as the Director of Field Programs for the Adirondack Mountain Club in Lake Placid, New York. He has also worked for the Green Mountain Club and Randolph Mountain Club, and for the National Park Service as a historical interpreter. When Tim joined Kingdom Trails in 2003, the group had 440 membership households and 3,800 visits. In 2012 they had grown to 1936 households and 60,000 visits.
Robin Zinchuk has been Executive Director of the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce since 1986. Working with local businesses the Bethel Chamber has developed specialty “niche” markets that help position the area as a year round destination — anglers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, hikers, Nordic skiers and wedding planners. The organization is very involved in event development and marketing — providing a robust event portal on its website, www.bethelmaine.com, with free access for area nonprofits that organize important destination events. Robin moved to Maine in 1979 and has co-owned and managed a general store in West Paris and the Chapman Inn Bed & Breakfast in Bethel.