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Published on : Monday, August 21, 2017
The change in the tourism industry of Maine reflects as a move by the Office of Tourism in Maine to grow the number of ships coming to Maine by coordinating the state’s marketing efforts and adding new products and excursions for cruise passengers.
Previously, the focus on the cruise tourism had been to amplify the number of ships making Maine a tourism destination. But there was little concentration paid by the industry leaders toward enhancing the visitors’ experience once here.
The effort in growing the tourism sector comes at the same time some Down East towns are enacting moratoriums on the development of the cruise ship visits because of concerns that the vessels will spoil the quiet nature of their communities.
Now the state of Maine is recasting its cruise strategy through an administrative change. Last month, the Maine Office of Tourism awarded a contract to manage cruise marketing, coordination and outreach to Soli DG, the company owned by that runs the International Marine Terminal in Portland.
Soli DG is only the second company to administer Maine’s cruise marketing since CruiseMaine, an organization of port communities and businesses formed to promote the state to the cruise industry, was founded in 2002.
Maine is dividing its accountability, which would allow the tourism office to center on marketing and cross-promotion while the port authority can concentrate on developing cruise infrastructure and operations. The Department of Transportation of Maine will hire an in-house expert on cruise infrastructure to lead the effort to promote tourism.
From an account, it is seen that the cruise visits to Maine have almost tripled since 2003, from 151 ships to 410 scheduled in 2017.
The vessels docking in Maine ports include some of the largest in the cruise industry, which are capable of carrying up to 5,000 passengers.
The major destinations in Maine are Bar Harbor and Portland. These are considering the pier expansions to bring in bigger cruise ships, which are popular for the luxury for the more passengers.