AUGUSTA — Despite a snowstorm, organizers expect a large crowd Wednesday for the second day of the Maine Governor’s Conference on Tourism.
More than 400 people have signed up for the event, which takes place Tuesday and Wednesday at the Augusta Civic Center.
Afternoon workshops were on the agenda for Tuesday, the first day of the conference, but heavy snow in the region kept most people from attending.
Wednesday’s events will all begin an hour later than originally scheduled. Registration and breakfast will begin at 8:30 a.m. instead of 7:30 a.m. The Tuesday evening welcome reception has been canceled.
Wednesday’s agenda includes presentations from Berkeley Young, a strategic planner for the travel industry; Daniel Lemin, a consultant and digital strategist; and Neville Bhada, a travel and tourism executive.
The morning and the afternoon also feature breakout sessions led by Lemin, Bhada and Young. Lemin will talk about maximizing ratings and reviews, while Bhada will discuss marketing on a shoestring budget. Young will lead a discussion on travel trends in the morning.
Five awards will be handed out during the event’s luncheon, which begins at 12:30 p.m. on the main floor of the arena.
Karen Arel, executive director of the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce, will receive the Governor’s Award for Tourism Excellence; the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce will receive the Award for Marketing and Promotion; David Berg, a co-owner of Red Apple Campground, gets the Award for Leadership and Growth; Kerry Gallivan and Chimani, Inc. will receive the Award for Creativity and Innovation; and the Biddeford Mills Museum wins the Originality Award.
According to the Maine Office of Tourism’s annual report, tourists spent just under $6 billion in Maine last year, supporting nearly 106,000 jobs. VisitMaine.com saw 2,471,589 website sessions from 1,886,395 users, while MaineQuarterly.com saw a 5.5 percent increase in visitor sessions.
In other 2016 Maine tourism highlights, direct spending on tourism-related trips by overnight visitors totaled over $4.5 billion, overnight spending on tourism generated over $450 million in tax revenue, nearly 19 million visitors spent one or more nights in Maine on tourism-related trips, and Canadian visitors spent more than $975 million in Maine.
Afternoon workshops were on the agenda for Tuesday, the first day of the conference, but heavy snow in the region kept most people from attending. The workshops included discussions on the value of working with media, developing a tourism destination team and getting the most out of Google Analytics.
For more information, visit mainetourismconference.com.