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November 18, 2021

Maine to get $11M federal boost for hard-hit tourism industry

The Maine Office of Tourism will receive $10.8 million in federal funds to upgrade infrastructure and marketing for a crucial tourist draw, outdoor recreation.

The funding from the American Rescue Plan, enacted in March, is intended to help the state’s tourism industry continue to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and strengthen the outdoor recreation industry, which is a major contributor to Maine’s economy. The funds come from the Economic Development Administration.
“As we confront ongoing health threats and economic fallout, these vital American Rescue Plan funds will help the Maine Office of Tourism support our state’s tourism and outdoor recreation industry. These businesses will bounce back stronger than ever before, so they can continue to support good paying jobs and play important roles in communities from Kittery to Fort Kent,” said U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, in a news release.
The tourism office, part of the Department of Economic and Community Development, will use the funds for a wide variety of goals. They include strengthening marketing partnerships, providing technical assistance to businesses on industry best practices following the pandemic, attracting new workers, enhancing outdoor recreation infrastructure and helping communities develop strategies to mitigate and respond to the impacts of COVID-19. 
The program also will fund trail development and enhancement of existing trails and recreation amenities to meet increasing demand and improve access for diverse visitors.
“The EDA grant funding to the State of Maine will provide the support needed to advance the projects of this integrated framework, accelerate the recovery of the state’s visitor economy, as well as lay the foundation for building stronger, more resilient tourism and outdoor industry sectors in the coming decades,” said DECD Commissioner Heather Johnson.

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