The Maine Woods Consortium released new research in March 2019 that finds Rural Destination Development is a $5.6-billion opportunity for the Maine Woods region.
The Northern Forest Center coordinates the Maine Woods Consortium.
The findings are based on research by Future iQ, which the Consortium contracted in 2018 to facilitate tourism stakeholder dialogue and produce two reports to inform Rural Destination Development across the Maine Woods region. Read the Executive Summary.
Future of Tourism in the Maine Woods
Part 1: Emerging Trends
This report includes an analysis of key travel and tourism activity trends that will influence future visitation to the Maine Woods. The report addresses issues and trends including:
- A rapidly growing global middle class – especially in Asia where 570% growth is projected between 2009 and 2030. Rapid embrace of technology for researching, booking, reviewing, navigating, sharing travel experiences and more.
- Market trends across more than 15 outdoor recreation and experiential travel activities ranging from fishing and hunting to hiking, mountain-biking, skiing, shopping, and culinary tourism.
Part 2: Potential Scenarios & Impact
This report summarizes a scenario exercise conducted by Future IQ with Maine Woods tourism stakeholders in 2018. It evaluates the potential economic and social impacts of alternative Destination Development strategies and identifies gaps and opportunities for the region. Topics and findings include:
- Assessment of current economic contributions and potential economic and community benefits of successful destination development – pointing to an opportunity to more than double economic impact from $2.3 billion in 2017 to $5.6 billion in 2030.
- Analysis of destination development scenarios highlighting an approach based on “high-touch” experiences and new and emerging markets.
- Recommended strategies for high potential rural destination areas, emphasizing “innovative product development” and stakeholder collaboration at the regional and local destination area levels.