CARIBOU, Maine — With the New Year comes new representation for tourism in The County, as the Aroostook County Tourism Board was voted into existence on Dec. 13 by members of the Northern Maine Development Committee Executive Board.
The Aroostook County Tourism Board replaces the former Aroostook County Tourism Committee, according to Robert Clark, executive director of Northern Maine Development Committee Executive Board. Clark explained to his board members during the meeting that the change would bring more autonomy for the organization, as it would involve less people.
“We’ll have 12 [members] plus a chair,” Clark said.
While the organization directly overseeing Aroostook’s tourism development efforts has been decreased in size, an Aroostook County Tourism Network also is being created to support the new board and use the expertise of individuals who regularly work in the tourism industry.
“Right now we have 26 [members on the tourism committee] and it’s getting unruly,” Clark said, “but that’s why we’re going to have the ACT Network to draw from the expertise and talent from the larger tourism community.”
The Aroostook County Tourism Network, according to the resolution, “will provide the opportunity for people within the tourism industry to maintain ongoing communications and will be regularly informed of tourism promotional efforts of ACT, the Maine office of tourism and other organizations performing tourism related efforts.”
The document also states that network individuals will consist of people within the tourism industry who would like to offer expertise and assistance to the tourism board.
With the number of parties involved on the board halved, board members are still slated to represent the diverse facets of tourism in The County.
Regions and categories to be represented include the St. John Valley Region, central Aroostook Region, southern Aroostook region, North Maine Woods region, outdoor/guiding, lodging, dining, events, museums/arts/cultural/historical, retail, nonmotorized outdoor recreation, and motorized outdoor recreation. An Northern Maine Development Committee executive board member will serve as the chairperson and will be appointed by the executive board for that purpose.
Though the resolution adopted by the board stipulated that the new Aroostook County Tourism Board would meet within 30 days of approval, the new board will not be formed until a last meeting of the Aroostook County Tourism Committee on Thursday, Jan. 24.
The mission of the new tourism board is to develop and implement a tourism marketing program for Aroostook County, and the board will meet a minimum of four times a year to accomplish this goal. Each member of the board must come from a member community of Northern Maine Development Committee.
Those wishing to be considered for the new board should contact Regional Tourism Developer for Northern Maine Development Committee Leslie Jackson by emailing LJackson@nmdc.org.