Published on : Thursday, March 16, 2017
As much as nearly 35.8 million travellers had accounted for the growth that also included a resurgence of Canadian holidaymakers, as revealed by the annual report from the Maine Office of Tourism that had been delivered on Wednesday during the Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Augusta.
Chris Fogg who is the CEO of the Maine Tourism Association said that it was quite a strong year in 2016 particularly thanks to the first-time visitors to the state.
Tourism is one of the largest industries of the region of Maine and it employs about 106,000 people. The total economic impact is estimated to be close to about $9 billion. Last year, tourists had paid about $596 million in taxes to the state. The increase continued to mark a four-year growth trend in tourist arrivals and spending.
The tourist arrivals have shot up to almost 30% from the 28 million visitors in 2012.
Also, the spending grew by almost $1 billion over the same period, as per the Maine Office of Tourism Data. Visitors had spent the majority of their financial resources on retail sales, restaurants, food and lodging. The figures were calculated for the Office of Tourism by DPA Inc., a digital research firm in Kennebunk.
Some of the increase can be attributed to the 100th anniversary of Acadia National Park that had drawn as much as 3.3 million tourists in 2016.
The growth in the tourism numbers had brought about an unexpected jump in Canadian tourists following a few years of decline. The number of Canadians rushing to the state increased by about 10% from 4.1 million in the year 2015 to 4.5 million in 2016. Canadians had spent about $975 million in the state, an increase of about 15% from the previous year.
Steve Lyons, the acting director of the Office of Tourism said that the pleasant growth in tourism revenue was a complete surprise for them.
This is because, Canada that is actually a key source market for Maine tourism sector had witnessed a large decline especially from the year 2014 because of a strong dollar. Certain tourism businesses also cited the concerns of Canada about American politics.
The rebound last year might portray a changing attitude towards travel as well as spending by the Canadians, as per Lyon.
Jennifer Simmons, the marketing and branding consultant who had analyzed the Canadian market for the tourism office said that Maine should put her best foot forward if it harbors an ambition to attract more number of Canadian tourists.
This year, the Maine Office of Tourism is going to launch a brand new marketing campaign this year with an aim to continue the robust tourist growth in this part of the world known as ‘This is Me’. The main objective of the campaign is to market the state as a lifestyle brand and not merely a destination.
Maine has started concentrating its marketing efforts on New England, Canada and the mid-Atlantic region. Also, it has charted regions like Germany and the United Kingdom.