February 26, 2020

Questionnaire respondents say County should plug summer

HOULTON — Despite the common belief that winter activities provide the greatest tourism draw for Aroostook County, a survey conducted by the Aroostook County Tourism Commission indicates that summer is on the minds of most visitors.

More than 100 questionnaires that were featured on the back page of the first two “Aroostook County Outdoor and Recreation Guides” published for the spring-summer and fall seasons were returned to ACTC. Respondents received a free copy of “Mainely Potatoes,” a cookbook produced by the Maine Potato Board.

According to the questionnaires returned, visitors think that summer is the season to promote first. Winter is second, followed by fall.

In contrast, however, they said that snowmobiling was the region’s biggest asset. Area festivals, such as Fort Fairfield Potato Blossom Festival, were second; hunting and fishing, third; and the landscape was fourth.

About 23 percent of the responses came from out-of-state travelers. The largest number came from people in Connecticut, while a significant number came from people in Florida and Massachusetts.

More than half of those responding were in the 25-49 age bracket. About 25 percent were in the 50-64 age category, and 18 percent were older than 65.

Most of the people who vacationed in the County said they had learned about the area from friends and relatives. They cited rest and relaxation, hunting and fishing, camping, snowmobiling, and education and museums as the reasons they came to the area.

The biggest obstacle seen to visiting the region was the distance that had to be traveled to get there. That was followed in importance by the quality of the roads and a general lack of promotion of the region as a whole.

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