Following the development and adoption of the Katahdin Woods & Waters Corridor Partnership Plan in 2012, the KTP prioritized pursuit of three strategic areas as priorities: (tourism) business and product development, marketing/market research, and infrastructure development. With funding support from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, this was accomplished through the 2013 Outdoor Recreation Tourism Planning Charrette, tourism training, instituting a visitor survey, creating a Byway brochure, and Byway development oversight.
The 2013 Outdoor Recreation Tourism Planning Charrette offered a very direct method through which to ascertain infrastructure development needs along the Byway. The charrette served to identify pressing tourism business and product development needs as well as provide guidance for how to rank Byway infrastructure development opportunities.
The KTP also recognized the need to build the region’s capacity to improve the visitor experience (i.e., product development) and collaborated with the Maine Woods Consortium, Maine Office of Tourism, local nonprofit organizations, and the University of Maine System to sponsor and promote free tourism training workshops to members of the industry.
The KTP determined there was a need to gain a heightened understanding of the Katahdin’s region’s tourism market and opportunities to better inform development and marketing efforts associated with the Byway. A primary aim was to obtain information more specific to the Katahdin area as a travel destination than was readily available. This was accomplished through visitor surveys conducted using the Net Promoter Score system as detailed below.
An 8-page Byway brochure was developed to further enhance the visitor experience by providing a resource for regional amenities and a map. This marketing vehicle spoke to the need to market and develop businesses along the Byway.
Organizational support was necessary to facilitate the established partnership with the MaineDOT and ongoing Byway development oversight.
2013 FUNDING SOURCES
The Betterment Fund $5,000
Elmina B. Sewall Foundation $30,000
Maine Community Foundation $7,760
The Maine Highlands $2,000