BAR HARBOR – Tourism is one of Maine’s largest industries but in recent years there has a been labor shortage.
The Maine Tourism Association has launched their “I Am Maine Tourism” program hoping to ease the problem.
CEO of the Maine Tourism Association Chris Fogg said there are opportunities here in Maine that people will love, “There are lots of different things you can do in the tourism industry so you can stay right here in Maine and have a great career.”
According to the U.S. Travel Association report, nearly 40% of workers who’s first job was in the travel industry reached an annual career salary of $100,000.
“Starting your career in tourism has long-term benefits,” said Fogg.
Resort owner Cyndi Robbins said, “I came to work at sixteen at the Poland Spring inn as a waitress. When I came here I had no idea that I would end up owning the resort.”
Fogg said they aren’t just looking for young adults to consider it as a career, but retirees as well. They are encouraging them to get back into the workforce, “There are jobs whether they want to wait tables, be a banquet server, work a front desk at a hotel. They can have a second career and really with flexible hours and make a little bit of extra money.”
Ads are currently being run on various social media outlets and commercials to get the word out. A business owner in Bar Harbor thinks this is a great idea.
Apratim Khanal said, “I think that’s a positive thing for the town. I think it’ll bring more people to the town and means more business and more business means more tax and good revenue for the state.”
He said having a year-long job would be less stressful than having to look for one come summertime, “A year-round job you know they will be like pretty much settled down they don’t have to worry about another six months.”
Fogg said Maine tourism is considering other options to recruit people, “We wanna make sure that we’re servicing our members in getting people into this workforce whether it’s people from right here in Maine or whether it’s people from away.”