Research shows that quality experiences attract high spending visitors and generate quality jobs in recreation tourism. Owners and staff of small tourism businesses interact directly with guests, creating a lasting impression visitors will take away and share with others. That’s why good customer service and knowledge of the region's assets are essential to creating quality experiences.

The Center is helping to boost visitor experiences by working with partners through the Maine Woods Consortium. Together we provide training workshops and small grants to tourism businesses in all seven Maine Woods counties.

Our focus is quality—providing excellent customer service and unique experiences so visitors will return and encourage others to visit. Helping improve customer service skills and the bottom-line for small businesses will help lead to higher wages and offer career paths across the tourism industry.

Workshops Build Business and Hospitality Skills

The Center and its partners in the Maine Woods Consortium have delivered business training workshops serving more than 1,000 people from 350 businesses across the region – helping businesses enhance marketing, packaging, customer service, and even basic management practices like hiring and bookkeeping.

Grants Available to Help Tourism Businesses Access Outside Expertise

The Maine Woods Tourism Training Initiative is offering a limited number of small grants ($500 - $1,000) to help tourism companies secure expert assistance needed to take their business to the next level. The new program will provide up to 50% of the cost for one on one consulting to help businesses implement strategies related to past and ongoing training workshops in the areas of marketing, social media marketing, regional destination training, customer service, customer relations management, financial management and other areas of innovation. Recipient businesses are required to provide at least half of the project cost.

Take a look at our flyer for more information

Bringing Online Training to Tourism Employees

The Center has worked with the Maine Woods Consortium, Maine Office of Tourism and the Center for Tourism Research and Outreach (CenTRO) to create WelcomeME–an online customer service training program that has been widely embraced by the industry and used by 1,200 tourism and hospitality workers statewide. The WelcomeME customer service training program is available online.

WelcomeMe is helping to set Maine apart from … most other states with its unique focus on the visitor and the importance of great customer service.

—Vaughn Stinson, former CEO of the Maine Tourism Association