Wednesday, April 13, 2022
Day 1: Meetings @ The Westin Hotel, Opening Reception @ PMA
Destination Management Plan - Town Hall Visioning Summit
The Maine Office of Tourism has begun development of a statewide Destination Management Plan for Maine. The process will include interactive visioning sessions with the goal of generating valuable insight and guidance for the development of the long-term vision for tourism in Maine. One of these sessions will be held in conjunction with the Governor’s conference. Click here for more information about the Destination Management Plan and a list of other Town Hall Visioning Summits to be held throughout the state.
Maine's Cruise Industry
This workshop will discuss next steps for the cruise industry in Maine.
Presenter Sarah Flink, CruiseMaine
Maine Motorcoach Network - Trends in Group Travel
Sally Davis Berry, Group Tour Industry Expert
Group tour has historically been a dependable source of mid-week and shoulder-season business for the tourism industry. What are the expectations for the group tour industry in 2022, and how can businesses prepare to capitalize on the return of demand for group travel? In this hands-on workshop we will discuss current trends in group tour and explore ways businesses can collaborate to provide a quality experience and stay engaged with this travel sector. Note: Ms. Berry will be presenting remotely via livestream to The Westin Portland Harborview.
Maine Motorcoach Network
Opening Welcome Reception at the Portland Museum of Art
(In-person ticket holders only. Please note: proof of vaccination is currently not required to enter the Portland Museum of Art for the Welcome Reception.)
Thursday, April 14, 2022
Day 2: MOT Report, Learning, Luncheon & Keynote @ The Westin Hotel
Welcome to Portland, Lynn Tillotson
Commissioner's Remarks, Heather Johnson
Maine Office of Tourism Report, Steve Lyons & Joseph St. Germain
PechaKucha: My #MaineThing
Visit with Maine's Tourism Regions and Conference Sponsors
The Fundamentals of Developing a Marketing Plan
In this session, Miles Partnership will outline the process they take when developing marketing plans for their clients. This outline will provide practical, actionable advice and easy-to-understand steps that an organization of any size can implement, including key elements to consider when developing a plan for MOT grant applications.
Presenter- Jay Salyers, Miles Partnership
Sustainable Tourism Development - The Mahoosuc Way
The Office of Tourism is in the process of developing a Destination Management Plan for the state. This session will illustrate how local stakeholders in greater Bethel/Mahoosuc area are collaborating to implement a sustainable development plan for their region that supports the economy, the community, and the environment.
Moderators – Mike Wilson, Senior Program Director, Northern Forest Center and Donna Moreland, Destination Development Specialist, Maine Office of Tourism
Panelists - Greg Leutje, Mt. Abram Family Resort, Barbara Murphy, Mahoosuc Land Trust, Vern Maxfield, Town of Woodstock
Why Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Matters for Travel & Tourism
Responsible tourism is about reducing social and economic inequalities and building awareness. Centered on internal and external commitments that are not always perceived as being measurable, join this session to understand concepts and insights on how organizations internally should implement strategies to operationalize DEI within their company culture; and externally on how destinations should look to execute strategies in their local hospitality community.
Presenter - Melissa Cherry, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Miles Partnership and Tourism Diversity Matters Board Member
2022 Tourism Awards & Luncheon
Networking & Dessert Break
Keynote: Art For All: Culture’s Role In Maine’s Sustainable Future
Mark Bessire, Portland Museum of Art
Maine’s tourism economy is largely supported by three pillars—unrivaled natural beauty, an acclaimed food industry, and a beloved culture. And yet, in the context of a multiyear pandemic and worsening climate crisis, we can see how vulnerable our food and nature-based foundations may be in a rapidly changing world. Maine’s cultural identity, however, offers opportunities toward sustainability in new and transformative ways.
Arts and cultural institutions have a responsibility in this moment of change, not only because Maine’s cultural landscape is one of the most renowned in the country, but because culture reflects values, and Maine’s values reflect its communities. By championing environmental leadership, social justice, and a diversity of shared experience, we have the potential to lay a new, sustainable foundation for our rural and urban communities throughout Maine.
Over the last decade, the Portland Museum of Art has been working alongside communities to ensure Maine’s culture—and economic draw—is defined by diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusivity (DEAI). After years of listening, learning, and strategic planning together with the myriad people who call Maine home, we are taking substantial steps to reimagine our campus, collection, and communities through a DEAI lens and an Art for All mission.
This evolution is rooted in our belief that DEAI is sustainability. In Maine there is a colloquial saying that anyone not born here is “from away,” but we believe that our state’s future must be grounded in belonging. Only through belonging can we truly ensure sustainability across our natural resources, industries, economies, and communities.
Workforce Training and Development
Workforce shortages continue to be a key issue for Maine businesses, and the need for a seasonal workforce presents additional challenges. This session will address some of the programs that can help employers with finding and onboarding staff, and ways to creatively implement tools and strategies to overcome staffing challenges.
Moderator - Laura Fortman, Commissioner, Maine Department of Labor
Panelists - Kimberly Moore, Director Bureau of Employment Services, Maine Department of Labor, Maureen LaSalle, Chair, Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management, SMCC, Andy Shepard, General Manager, Saddleback Mountain
Experiential Tourism - Dark Skies
Maine is rich in locations with stellar night skies unspoiled by light pollution, most notably in the AMC’s Maine Woods properties, certified in 2021 by the International Dark Sky Association as an International Dark Sky Park, and the nearby Kathadin Woods and Waters National Monument, designated an International Dark Sky Sanctuary in 2020. Learn how you can support and promote stargazing in your community, and how Maine destinations are preparing for the solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.
Moderator - Chiara Moriconi, Senior Tourism Officer, Maine Office of Tourism
Panelists - John Meader, Dark Sky Maine, Alf Andersen, Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce, Jenny Ward, Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC)
Conference concludes with a sweet treat for attendees to enjoy on the way home!
Visit with Maine's Tourism Regions and Conference Sponsors