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Updated: July 10, 2023

Maine Office of Tourism’s updated branding reflects changing traveler trends

2 people sitting with RV Courtesy / Maine Office of Tourism Seen here is an example of a photo, used in an ad, that reflects the refreshed brand.

Dramatic landscapes, food and cuisine and charming small towns.

That’s the focus of the Maine Office of Tourism’s “refreshed brand identity,” which launched recently. 

The new brand showcases a new color palette and photography style designed to be “energetic and vibrant,” according to a news release.

The goal of the imagery and messaging is to elevate Maine “from being just a place to visit to being a place to truly experience and connect with,” the release says.

“Maine’s current brand and campaign approach has been in place for over 10 years,” said the agency’s director, Steve Lyons. “Travelers have evolved in that time, and the Maine Office of Tourism wanted to refresh our marketing materials in a way that better aligns with the expectations of today’s travelers and feels modern while still reflecting Maine’s timeless appeal.”

In 2022, tourism brought an estimated 15.4 million visitors to Maine and direct expenditures of approximately $8.6 billion.

Miles Partnership, a Sarasota, Fla., marketing agency, led the branding process, developing the brand strategy, look and feel, and subsequent campaign materials that were tested in focus groups in the U.S. and Canada using Tallahassee, Fla., third-party research firm Downs & St. Germain. 

The rebrand was launched after a year of planning with stakeholders, which resulted in the development of a Destination Management plan and included an exploration of evolving traveler preferences.

The office’s goal was to align its brand to better match the needs of today’s travelers while placing stewardship at its core.

Food and cuisine

Recent travel trends that influenced development of the brand include a growing interest in food tourism, as 23% of Americans who travel report being passionate about food and cuisine; a growing interest in responsible travel options that reduce environmental impact, especially among younger travelers; an increase in nature tourism and visits to more rural areas; and the desire for authentic, immersive experiences and exploring new, relatively undiscovered destinations.

“Tourism plays an important role in Maine’s economy, supporting good jobs and developing assets that attract visitors and long-term residents,” said Heather Johnson, commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. “By continuing to stay on top of trends in marketing Maine as a destination, the Office of Tourism is promoting sustainable growth for Maine’s economy, communities and the environment.”

The new brand reflects a shift from people to place. The destination itself became the primary focus of creative materials and messaging designed to resonate with travelers who share a stewardship focus.

The office’s marketing and research teams spent six months reviewing existing brand materials and interviewing past and potential visitors, industry staff and stakeholders for input. The research identified four key themes that visitors identified as appealing — nature and the outdoors; food and drink; relaxation; and charming downtowns and villages.

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