Association Campaign Gets Mainers to Talk Tourism

A new video campaign from the Maine Tourism Association aims to show how the tourism industry benefits the state’s entire economy.

Telling personal stories is an effective communications tool, but the Maine Tourism Association is trying a new take on the tactic by talking with people not usually affiliated with its industry.

“The ‘I Am Maine Tourism’ [campaign] is an effort by our association to show Maine residents and state and local legislators that tourism is more than just visitors staying in lodging properties and shopping in local stores, but that tourism affects nearly every segment of our economy,” MTA CEO Chris Fogg said.

To demonstrate this idea, MTA is releasing seven videos featuring Maine professionals not generally associated with the tourism industry discussing how it affects their own businesses and industries. Those interviewed include a marine retailer, a school superintendent, a real estate agent, a car salesperson, a farmer, a hardware store owner, and a commercial landscaper.

“It’s not always just about what you see every day—the people staying in hotels, the visitors eating in restaurants—but it’s the ancillary businesses that are impacted in a very positive way by the tourism industry,” Fogg said.

For example, the car salesman discusses how when tourism is strong, he sells more cars to those working in the restaurant and hotel industries, while the superintendent shares how tourism provides jobs and more cultural experiences to students.

MTA will post a new video each week and distribute them through social media during the next two months. The videos will also be aired as paid PSAs on Maine television and radio channels.

But the campaign is also meant to support MTA’s advocacy efforts. By showing the public and legislators how tourism affects the entire economy, the group hopes to influence legislation around the tourism industry, such as local parking regulations and preventing the increase of meals and lodging taxes.

Preventing or securing certain legislation to keep the state’s tourism industry strong would then support other industries. “We want people just to recognize that it can present some challenges, but there’s a huge benefit that comes from the tourism industry,” Fogg said.

According to the Maine Office of Tourism, the industry supported 99,000 jobs in the state—about 15 percent of the state’s employment—and generated about $2 billion in household income for employees in 2015.

“It is critical for the public and policy makers to know tourism is Maine’s largest economy, and it is driving Maine’s businesses,” Fogg told the Boothbay Register. “What is unique about this campaign is that you are hearing from real Mainers, not actors, sharing in their own words about how they are a part of Maine’s tourism economy.”

(Vimeo screenshot)

Alex Beall

By Alex Beall

Alex Beall is an associate editor for Associations Now with a masters in journalism and a penchant for Instagram. MORE

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