May 20, 2018
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Conference on tourism scheduled for Feb. 16-17

By Shari Closter

An important event next month is the Maine Governor’s Conference on Tourism, which will be held Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 16-17, at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland. This conference provides professional development sessions, valuable networking and the opportunity to meet with tourism professionals. It is the only statewide event of its kind and attendees are from all segments of the tourism industry.
The conference offers exchanges of ideas and best practices that benefit our state’s most vital and valuable industry. The success and growth of this venue is indicative of a cohesive industry that strives for excellence.
The cost for the conference and lunch is $50 per attendee. The awards dinner is $50 per attendee.
The conference is a project of the Maine Office of Tourism and the Maine Tourism Commission, and is made possible with the support of many sponsors.
The tourism dinner on Feb. 16 will focus on the people, places and foods that are “outstanding in their field.” The evening will be a celebration of Maine’s bounty. The dress for the evening is casual and the dinner festivities begin at 5 p.m.
The conference on Feb. 17 begins at 8:30 a.m., with registration 7:30-8:30 a.m., and continues until 4:15 p.m. The keynote address on Feb. 17 will be from Meryl Levitz, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation.
The workshops are:

  • “Top 10 Tips to Market Your Business Online,” presented by Shannon Kinney, Capture Media Associates. The session will cover trends in social media, tactics to optimize your own website, maximize Facebook and Twitter, online marketing opportunities and cross marketing.
  • “The Power of Partnerships: Using Your Neighbors to Grow Your Tourism,” presented by Barbara Wold. This seminar will give you the ideas and tools to develop and plan for long-term partnerships that will help grow your tourism for years to come.
  • “The Ripple Effect: How Businesses and Cultural Attractions Make Waves Working Together,” presented by panelists Amy Lent, executive director, Maine Maritime Museum; Eileen Hornor, owner, The Brunswick Inn; Will Neilson, owner, Solo Bistro Bistro; and Peter Simmons, executive director, Bowdoin International Music Festival.
  • “People, Planet, Profit: Benefiting from Sustainable Initiatives in Hospitality with Whimsy,” presented by Rauni Kew, Inn by the Sea. This seminar will offer a slightly skewed “people, planet, profit model” for creating compelling and whimsical programs that help drive publicity and result in covers or heads in bed.
  • For more information, visit or call Carolann Ouellette, 624-9810, or Charlene Williams, 623-4177.
    Shari Closter is the interim executive director of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call 596-0376, e-mail or visit

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