The Tourism Innovation Program is part of the Center’s strategic work to advance Destination Tourism Development as a source of jobs and economic opportunity for the Maine Woods region. The program provides up to $25,000 in matching grant funding to enable tourism businesses in the Moosehead and Katahdin Iron Works areas to access outside expertise and implement innovative projects to help their businesses thrive.Financial assistance is available for businesses in the Moosehead Lake and Katahdin Iron Works regions, focusing on:
- lodging businesses
- guide services
- Beaver Cove
Preference also will be given to businesses in unorganized territories near the Appalachian Mountain Club’s (AMC’s) conservation and recreation land in the 100-Mile Wilderness region.
The project partners encourage creative initiatives and expect many of the investments to fall into three high-priority opportunities for improvement: market development and customer management, new product development, and facility improvements.
Projects could include website and social media marketing and online reservation systems; new product development such as lodging and experiential packages; and upgrades such as renewable energy systems, including high-efficiency wood pellet boilers, and other improvements.
The Center, AMC, the Moosehead Lake Region Economic Development Corporation, the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council and Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation are working together to implement the Tourism Innovation Program.