April 07, 2020

Tourism forum opens Wednesday> State’s industry leaders to be feted at ceremony

BANGOR — A state tourism convention planned for this week is still on schedule despite the weather, organizers said.

The Governor’s Conference on Tourism begins at the Bangor Civic Center at 6 p.m. Wednesday with a dinner and awards ceremony that will recognize leaders in the state’s tourism industry. Tickets are $29 for those not preregistered for the dinner.

The conference continues Thursday morning with presentations analyzing the state’s recent successes at promoting Maine as well as previews of the coming summer campaign. The presentations will highlight the steps Maine has taken to become more competitive in the market for tourist dollars, both in the summer and the off-season.

Registration for Thursday’s events — which is $40 a person — begins at 7:45 a.m. while presentations start at the Bangor Civic Center at 8:30 a.m. Two concurrent workshops will be held between 9:45 and 11 a.m. One will look at capitalizing on Maine’s “hotter” attractions, such as outdoor sports, while the other workshop will deal specifically with international marketing.

After what is billed as a networking lunch, Gov. Angus King will deliver the conference’s keynote address. The address begins at 1 p.m.

Dann Lewis, director of the state’s Office of Tourism, said the conference follows up on a five-year marketing and development strategy drafted in 1996.

“The strategy has guided all of our tourism initiatives and we thought it was time to give a progress report,” Lewis said.

Lewis, who became director in the summer of 1995, has overseen the doubling of the state’s tourism office from a $2 million outfit to an operation with a $4 million budget and an ever-expanding advertising effort.

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