Sustainable Tourism Initiatives
Sustainable Tourism is"Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities" (UNWTO.org).
Current Partnerships and Initiatives
DownEast Acadia Regional Tourism (DART) — WCCOG manages the DART contract with the Maine Office of Tourism to deliver tourism development, management, and promotion services throughout the entirely of the DART region, which includes both Washington and Hancock county. WCCOG administers the $125,000 grant, provides internal and external outreach, and works closely with state agencies to market the best cultural, heritage, and recreational assets of the region.
Downeast Resource Conservation &Development (RC&D)— The Downeast RC&D is a strong ally to the WCCOG in providing management of both human and natural resources. Joint projects include DART, the Downeast Fisheries Trail, and the Bold Coast Scenic Byway. The RC&D provides fiscal sponsorship for foundation grants, assists with grant writing, and supports protection of natural resources and sustainable tourism efforts throughout Washington and Hancock counties.
Bike the Bold Coast! — WCCOG has partnered with the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, the Sewall Foundation, and CF Adams to develop bicycle tourism in the region through the creation of a permanent bicycle route, including helping businesses become bicycle tourism ready, installing signage, and mapping and marketing the route. This 2-year public process is guided by a planning committee comprised of local and regional interest-holders such as tourism-related businesses and organizations; Chambers of Commerce; and several State and National entities.
Maine Department of Transportation's Scenic Byways Program— WCCOG designed the Bold Coast Scenic Byway, and is implementing the Corridor Management Plan. WCCOG played an integral part in the Black Woods Scenic Byway planning process. Read more about these two programs by clicking here.
Experience Maritime Maine (EMM) — This initiative is a collaboration of numerous maritime-related organizations such as museums, tourism regions, scenic byways, and private businesses. The WCCOG participates as both DART and the Bold Coast Scenic Byway, and helps EMM to connect with tourism assets in the Bold Coast region and in coastal Hancock county.
Two-Nation Vacation — The Maine Office of Tourism and the New Brunswick Office of Tourism created this initiative, which seeks to encourage visitors to stay longer and travel farther by planning a vacation that encompasses both the Canadian Maritimes and the coastal regions of Washington and Hancock counties. WCCOG participates in this program through DART, the Bold Coast Scenic Byway, and through development of bicycle tourism assets.
Maine Woods Consortium — Through the Sunrise County Economic Council, the WCCOG taps into the sustainable tourism and destination development resources made available by the Maine Woods Consortium. WCCOG assists with Destination Development trainings, and DART-matched Maine Woods funds to get Grand Lake Stream into national media in 2016/2017.
East Coast Greenway (ECG) — The ECG is a cross-county, off-road bicycle route that runs from Key West, Florida to Calais, Maine. The WCCOG works with the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, DART, and the MaineDOT to continue developing off-road routes, promote the existing route, and to connect the ECG with similar trails in New Brunswick.