Rep. Vicki Doudera, D-Camden, testified before the Joint Committee on Innovation, Development, Economic Progress and the Economy on Feb. 24 to support a bill she endorsed to fund the Maine Office of Tourism’s marketing efforts.

LD 246 is a determination to take unspent funds from the Maine Office of Tourism and transfer them to the Tourism Marketing Promotion Fund in the coming fiscal year.

“Tourism is a major economic engine for our region and for the state as a whole. Maine generates approximately $ 2.0 billion in taxable sales for winter and summer visits,” said Doudera. “This sector has been one of the hardest hit sectors by the pandemic and despite the persistence, dedication and creativity of Mainers, employers and workers alike face ongoing challenges.”

As a former innkeeper, Doudera said she understood the importance of the state’s marketing efforts for local restaurants, inns, campsites, tall ships and shops. “Tourists have a choice of where to go, and Maine needs to have a strong regional and national marketing presence to compete with other travel destinations.”

Doudera noted that vacation visits often lead tourists to choose Maine as their permanent place to live, work, and raise their families.

“The tourism industry is important to our region in many ways, so I am happy to support and encourage legislation that will help it recover by stepping up efforts to promote our beautiful state as a safe and welcoming tourist destination. “