Northern Forest Rural Tourism Academy, New England, USA (2021-2022)

Northern Forest Rural Tourism Academy, New England, USA (2021-2022)

Helping communities to engage with tourism and outdoor recreation economies

Project Overview

Future iQ is working with the Northern Forest Center to design and facilitate the Rural Tourism Academy (RTA) across the Northern Forest region. This region stretches from Maine through northern New Hampshire and Vermont and into the Adirondacks and Tug Hill Plateau of northern New York.

The Northern Forest Rural Tourism Academy consists of professionally led workshops and training sessions. They combine with a package of direct financial and technical assistance to support destination development projects in high potential Rural Destination Areas across the Northern Borders region. The program is built on a recognition that successful destinations require a unique level of cooperation among business, non-profit, and municipal stakeholders and a common set of skills, knowledge, and language to enable effective team-based project implementation.

Phase 1 of the Rural Tourism Academy process explored the future trajectory of the tourism industry through a number of virtual regional stakeholder workshops in May 2021. The workshops examined emerging trends shaping the industry, using global sustainable tourism case studies. Potential futures and implications were investigated before creating a preferred regional future scenario for managing tourism impact.

Communities from across northern New Hampshire and Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom have been invited to join Phase 2 of the Rural Tourism Academy in local in-person community planning workshops in November 2021 and March 2022. The community planning workshops explore the local implications of global and national trends and create a local shared vision and aspiration for the future of tourism and recreation. The workshops craft local strategic action plans targeted toward building sustainable outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism. Local implementation plans, priorities and catalyst projects are then identified.

Phase 3 is of the Rural Tourism Academy is a Regional Learning Laboratory which will convene communities in Spring 2022. Communities will share their projects and plans, explore best-practice implementation and will be connected to additional resources to implement their projects.

Future iQ®'s Role in this Project

    Future iQ is working with the Northern Forest Center to design and facilitate the Rural Tourism Academy (RTA) across the Northern Forest region.

    Future iQ’s role involves:

    • Design of an interactive project webpage and portal
    • Project planning meetings with project partners
    • Facilitation of Phase 1 virtual regional stakeholder workshops
    • Production of Phase 1 Summary Report
    • Facilitation of in-person Phase 2 local community planning workshops
    • Production of Phase 2 Summary Report
    • Facilitation of the Regional Learning Laboratory

More Information

Learn more about this Project. Visit the Future iQ Research Laboratory.