Destination Development

Way DownEast Destination Academy


The communities of Machias, Lubec, Eastport, and Calais (self-named the Way DownEast area), were provided a unique opportunity to work together with the Maine Office of Tourism and Maine Woods Consortium on a Community Destination Academy (CDA).  This opportunity is the result of long-time partnerships between SCEC and the Maine Woods Consortium, and between DownEast Acadia Regional Tourism and the Maine Office of Tourism.  Planning began in January and three CDA events were scheduled for March, April, and May 2022.

The Way DownEast Community Destination Academy is a short series of 3 professionally led workshops and training sessions designed to help the Way DownEast region achieve local tourism goals through regional collaboration. In-depth discussions will help the team grow innovative strategies specific to the Way Downeast region. 

 The CDA will prepare Way DownEast communities to work together to implement tourism-based destination development projects.  It also provides technical and financial assistance to help communities quickly implement a short-term destination development project identified by program participants.

 The March session includes discussion of local interests and goals to incorporate into the core program of the Academy, which is applicable to all of Maine’s rural destination areas. The April session involves reflection on phase one learning and discussion of emerging local interests and opportunities.  In May, participants will share their learning process and hopes for their communities related to tourism development and management.  Throughout 2022, Way DownEast communities will engage in a short-term project related to their findings from the CDA and continue working together toward longer-term goals. 

Learn more about Destination Development from the Maine Office of Tourism at