Destination Development

Helping Maine areas and communities build a tourism economy

The primary focus of destination development is on rural-destination areas in Maine that are in decline. Destination development requires looking at the entire tourism system within a destination area holistically; working with an organized, committed group of local leaders to monitor meetings and assessing where destination areas are in the development process; offering direction, guidance and advice; and facilitating access to appropriate State of Maine resources when and as they are available.

Donna Moreland, Destination Development Specialist for the Maine Office of Tourism, shadows chosen destination development areas and functions as an advisor. Contact Donna at 207-624-9808 or at [email protected]

MOT Destination Development Toolkit

Fundamentals of Destination Development – A Community Handbook
Published in December 2020, Fundamentals of Destination Development-A Community Handbook will provide Maine regions and communities with the foundation and tools necessary to begin a meaningful destination development initiative within a region or community. It is recommended to download and review this document by the sections below.

Title Page & Table of Contents
Section I: The Fundamentals of Organizing
Section II: Building & Managing the Visitor Experience
Section III: Marketing, Communications & Additional Markets

Appendix A – Inventory Documents
Appendix B – Evaluation Documents
Appendix C – Attitude Surveys
Appendix D – Tourism Industry Glossary
Appendix E – How to Connect with the MOT

Download Full PDF

Other Helpful Resources:
Outdoor Recreation Roundtable Rural Economic Development Toolkit

Community Destination Academy

Community Destination Academy (CDA) 

The core of the Maine Office of Tourism’s CDA program is built upon a basic curriculum that is applicable to all Maine’s rural destination areas, even though no two CDA’s are never the same. Local leadership teams work to plan the courses and insure that specific community needs are addressed.

The CDA program has been completed in Maine’s Moosehead Lake, Rangeley Lakes, and the Mahoosucs (Bethel) regions. Learn more about each with the case studies below.

Case Studies

Community Destination Academy Summit – Monday, May 3, 2021 (Recording)
The focus of the Community Destination Academy Summit is to listen and interact with leaders from our Community Destination Academy areas as they discuss one of many projects they are executing as the result of their collective community visioning. This session is valuable to all people who are working at “placemaking” in Maine.

Watch Video Here
Audio Only

Presentation Slides

Destination Development – Inventory Project Log-in