In late 2019, Bethel area non-profit organizations partnered with the Northern Forest Center and Maine Office of Tourism to launch the Bethel Area Community Destination Academy (CDA). This program was developed by the Maine Office of Tourism and the Northern Forest Center to combine professional workshops, training, and planning sessions with financial and technical assistance to advance shared community goals in high potential tourism rural destination areas.
The Bethel Area CDA included three days of work with a group of 40 local tourism stakeholders and community leaders, followed by a larger Community Destination Summit that engaged more than 80 stakeholders in identifying and prioritizing key strategies and actions.
Following the CDA process, a local leadership team identified the creation of the Mahoosuc Sustainable Tourism Pledge (MSTP) as a key vehicle for aligning the multiple values and aspirations of the region. The desire is to create a sustainable travel destination where visitors are able to experience high quality recreation and cultural experiences, while supporting local quality of life. This would be achieved through an in-depth strategy development, marketing and branding initiative.
Future iQ brought together strategic partners CrossCurrent Collective and Align Multimedia, to undertake the branding and pledge development work. The aim is to position the greater Mahoosuc region as a sustainable travel destination through strategy development, branding and marketing of the Mahoosuc Sustainable Tourism Pledge. Work will include:
Photo Credits: Dirk MacKnight, Maine Mineral and Gem Museum, Sunday River, Amy Halsted