These might be the best of times for Maine's tourism industry, and industry leaders don't want the legislature to mess it up.
The Maine Office of Tourism says there were more than 27-million tourist visits in the state last year, counting out of state visitors and Mainers on vacation. Industry officials are worried that if the legislature raises the tax on meals and lodging, it would cut into the five-billion dollars tourism produced last year. The Maine Innkeepers Association says Maine can't be a more expensive tourist destination than other New England states. And people who visit Maine can expect "Originality." That's the state's new tourism marketing theme. The Maine Office of Tourism announced the new theme at the annual Governor's Conference on Tourism yesterday, explaining that "originality" sums up the quirky, eccentric nature of more than a few Mainers. The new marketing plan builds on past campaigns, including the most recent "There's More to Maine."