The Maine Tourism Association (MTA), the organization that represents all segments of Maine’s largest industry, has released a video of members talking about the challenges of the pandemic crisis, what they are doing to survive the current situation, and their optimism about an eventual recovery.
The release of the video, “Voices of Maine Tourism,” coincides with the start of National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), an annual celebration created by Congress in 1983 to underscore the economic power of travel in the U.S.
“I can’t think of another sector that has been hit harder by the shutdown, but the Maine tourism industry has proven its ability to survive recessions, depressions, world wars, and other global events and emerge stronger than before,” said Maine Tourism Association Chief Executive Officer Tony Cameron. “This is our toughest challenge yet, but in the video, you hear from our members that their outlook for the future remains one of hope and optimism.”
MTA recently held unscripted recording sessions through a teleconference with over a dozen of its members. This three-minute video is comprised of statements from owners or directors of businesses, including seasonal camps and cottages, hotels, a bus company, a museum, a brewery, a distillery, and a sports team.
In the video’s first segment, industry members highlight the challenges brought on by the pandemic, including the loss of both revenue and customers. The second reflects on how resourceful and innovative they have had to become during the current shutdown, including preparing meals to go, providing virtual tours, instituting free shipping, and switching to making hand sanitizer. In the final segment, members express their continued optimism for the future of tourism in Maine.
Cameron continued, “There’s no doubt this is an incredibly challenging time for Maine’s tourism businesses but we see National Travel and Tourism Week as an opportunity to remind Maine people and future visitors of the indomitable spirit and resiliency of the tourism industry and our amazing business owners and workers. It’s only a matter of time before we all get moving again, and Maine Tourism Association’s members will be more ready than ever to welcome travelers.”
Celebrated annually the first full week in May, NTTW was created by Congress in 1983 to underscore the economic power of travel in the U.S. The 37th NTTW will spotlight resilience and hope in the face of the coronavirus pandemic with this year’s theme: the Spirit of Travel.
Last year, tourism in Maine supported 110,000 jobs, led to earnings of $2.6 billion, generated over $9 billion in sales and $6.2 billion in direct tourism spending, and brought in $610 million in tax dollars.
You can view the video at https://vimeo.com/415231338. MTA encourages everyone to post and share this video on websites and social media.