DownEast Acadia Regional Tourism provides the following services for the entire region:
Support for Local/Regional Initiatives
- DART supports regionally and locally significant efforts through its annual Marketing and Promotion Partnership Program with the Maine Office of Tourism.
- DART provides a regional voice to the Maine Office of Tourism, Maine Tourism Association and other state or private efforts affecting the region.
- DART partners with other organizations to bring state, federal, and non-profit funding, technical assistance, and other resources to the region.
Training and Professional Development
- DART collaborates with Maine Office of Tourism, Maine Woods Consortium, Sunrise County Economic Council, and others on tourism-related trainings and Destination Development.
- DART hosts an Annual Tourism Symposium And Awards Luncheon for networking and professional development. The Symposium is held in a different location each year, and each year’s theme focuses specifically on the best assets and stories of the host community
True Maine Visitor Guide
- DART publishes and distributes an annual Visitor Guide for DownEast Acadia which promotes “True Maine” at its finest. 35,000 copies are printed annually, and a digital copy is accessible on DiscoverDownEastAcadia.com.
- “True Maine” Visitor Guides are sent to potential visitors upon request, and each Chamber within the region receives a list of visitor information requests to fulfill.
- DART guides are distributed at all Maine State visitor centers, at AAA offices and visitor information centers throughout the mid-Atlantic states, at national and Canadian travel shows by Maine Office of Tourism, at local Chambers of Commerce, and at local businesses and public offices.
Travel Show Participation
- DART sends volunteer campground owners to the Maine RV and Camping Show in Auburn each spring.
- DART visitor guides are distributed by the Maine Office of Tourism at approximately 8 national and Canadian travel shows annually.
Free Marketing Opportunities for Area Businesses/Event Organizers
- Businesses and events can post their information free of charge on both the DownEastAcadia.com and Maine Office of Tourism websites
- DART promotes the regional experience in print publications. In FY 2023, DART published print ads in Maine Invites You, Global Heroes, Experience Maine Summer (Bangor Daily), and East Coast Traveller. DART purchased print advertising for 2023 in the following publications:
Geographic targets areas are other parts of Maine, Boston, Connecticut, and New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in Canada. Digital Channels include Google and Microsoft. Primary target markets in FY24 are Millennials, families, and those seeking culture and heritage based experiences.
- FY24 digital marketing will promote new video and mini trip guides and itineraries created in FY23. Digital promotion will occur from fall through spring to inspire new visitors and promote off-season activities.
- In FY23, DART purchased digital advertising packages on websites and social media through Maine Public Radio, Maine Camping, Global Heroes, and New England Traveler. These same channels will be used in FY24, with the addition of Lonely Planet.
DART’s 9-second radio spots run 9 times per week on Run of Show basis, for an overall reach of 8,600 listeners per spot. DART’s messages reach about 331,800 listeners annually. DART spots primarily promote regional events. When no events are scheduled for a time period, spots promote other regional experiences, such as outdoor recreation, arts, scenic byways, and culinary.
DART extended their presence on Maine Public Radio in FY23 to year-round (previously April through October). This schedule will continue in FY24. Events highlighted on Maine Public Radio will also be listed on Maine Public website events calendar (this has not been done previously).
- DART’s digital advertising is managed by New Moon Social Media of Calais. DART is active on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.
- FY24 social media plans for Instagram include increasing total page followers by 1,000. DART will increase the number of new likes on Facebook by 3,000. DART will increase direct engagement with the channels of DART members and partners, direct postings about member and partners, and paid promotion of smaller events across the region. DART will increase frequency, boosting, and complexity of content (for example, creating reels).
- DART produces an E-Newsletter that is sent to an average of 14,000 potential visitors annually who express interest in the region via DiscoverDownEastAcadia.com. Each newsletter highlights sub-regions, seasons, activities, and experiences.
Photo & Video Procurement
- DART contracts with local artists to create photography and video content that highlights special assets and special initiatives throughout the region.
- DART has been developing video content for several years – shorts (15-30 seconds) to promote events and activities on social media and in E-newsletters, and longer videos (1-3 minutes) to promote the regional experience and highlight “makers and doers” behind the scenes. DART has worked with different videographers to capture different perspectives that appeal to different audiences.
Research and Analysis
- Maine Office of Tourism commissions seasonal surveys and analyses for all of Maine, and breaks out a yearly report for the DART region including economic impact, number of visitors, and activities enjoyed
- DART tracks Google Analytics trends from DiscoverDownEast Acadia.com to prioritize website and visitor guide updates and inform direction for marketing plans, social media, and advertising.
DART is in the process of creating a series of printed mini-trip guides. This project includes guides to themed experiences, geographic location and length of stay, type of traveler – things to do with kids/dogs/on a rainy day, for example.
These guides are formatted provided to businesses and visitor information centers to aid in developing itineraries with visitors while in the region. They will also be viewable and downloadable as PDFs from the DiscoverDownEastAcadia.com website to assist with pre-travel planning.
- DART will develop simple brochures for the Bold Coast and Schoodic National Scenic Byways for distribution locally and at Calais and Hamden State VICs. DART will partner with the Greater East Grand Area Economic Council, Aroostook County Tourism, and The Maine Highlands to develop itineraries and promotional materials for trip guides that include our interconnected Scenic Byways. In the DownEast region, this includes the Schoodic, Bold Coast, Million Dollar View Scenic Byways.