From the first contact to the last goodbye, every interaction counts toward a visitor’s experience of the place they are visiting. Exciting travel packages, quality services, attractive buildings and genuine Maine Woods experiences will draw visitors and keep them coming back.

The Center’s Tourism Innovation Program is helping tourism providers implement innovations that will strengthen their businesses, expand job opportunities and attract visitors to the Maine Woods.

The program offers qualified businesses financial assistance ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 each to hire top consultants to develop and implement business innovations ranging from software and facility improvements to new product development.

Financial assistance is available for businesses in the Moosehead Lake and Katahdin Iron Works regions, focusing on:
  • lodging businesses
  • guide services
  • outfitters

Preference will be given to businesses in towns near Moosehead Lake and the gateways to the Katahdin Iron Works area, including:
  • Beaver Cove
  • Greenville
  • Rockwood
  • Shirley
  • Monson
  • Abbot
  • Bowerbank
  • Willimantic
  • Sebec
  • Milo
  • Brownville

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.

Download complete program guidelines.

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.