Island Pond Vermont in the fallSave the Date: May 4

The Northern Forest Center will launch phase one of its new Northern Forest Rural Tourism Academy with an open webinar on emerging national and global tourism and recreation trends on Tuesday, May 4 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. 

Led by the global consulting firm Future iQ, the May 4 event will explore emerging trends and drivers that will shape the Northern Forest’s tourism industry in the years to come, and feature case studies and guest presentations on sustainable tourism from around the world. 

Randy from Kamp Kamp in GreenvilleSmall businesses in the Moosehead Lake and Maine West regions are invited to register for online marketing and e-commerce assistance through the Center’s Digital Business Assistance program. The program offers consulting and micro grants to help businesses meet the growing need to reach and serve customers remotely. 

Over the past 18 months the Center has helped deliver digital business assistance to nearly 100 businesses in western Maine and Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Starting with marketing assistance focused on social media and travel platforms, the Center in 2020 expanded its service in western Maine to assist businesses with e-commerce strategies to manage pandemic-driven demand for online, touch-free transactions. 

cross country skiing sm licensedv shutterstock 1196335504Destination development is not just about marketing -- it’s about creating a critical mass of attractions, amenities, and experiences that can attract new visitors, new residents, and new businesses while sustaining and enriching quality of life for people who already live in the destination area. 

In Rangeley, Maine, the Center is supporting local interest in making the town a destination for people seeking outdoor recreation and a culture that supports health and wellness. 

To complement ongoing brand positioning work that grew out of the 2019 Rangeley Community Destination Academy, the Center is funding work by Rangeley Health and Wellness to implement new community telehealth services. Support from the Center is enabling the group to:

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail has developed new paddling itinerariesWith grant funding from the Northern Forest Destination Development Initiative, the Northern Forest Canoe Trail has developed six new paddling itineraries to attract paddlers to some of the less visited waterways in the region.

The Northern Forest Destination Development Initiative is managed by the Northern Forest Center in partnership with the Northeastern Vermont Development Association and NEK (Northeast Kingdom) Collaborative of Vermont. Funding comes from the Northern Border Regional Commission.