April 26, 2018

New video campaign highlights tourism job opportunities

The Maine Tourism Association has launched the second series of videos in its "I Am Maine Tourism" campaign, which began last year to highlight jobs in the industry and raise awareness of what "tourism" jobs entail.

"There are misconceptions about what tourism jobs are," Chris Fogg, CEO of the Maine Tourism Association, said in a news release. "Some view tourism jobs as only low-paying, seasonal or part-time jobs. That perception is wrong and we are working to change that."

In an email to Mainebiz, Fogg said one of the goals of the campaign is to encourage young people and retirees who haven't considered tourism jobs to give them a look.

"One of the goals of the 'I Am Maine Tourism' program is the encourage younger people that tourism creates excellent career opportunities," he said. It also suggests to retirees that they can have a job with flexible schedule while earning some money.

"There are workforce shortages in tourism just like there are in many industries in Maine," he said.

The Maine Tourism Association has released six videos, 30 seconds each, that highlight different jobs — including a Maine Guide, a chef, a waiter, a professor of hospitality and tourism, a resort owner and a hotel manager. There is also a three-minute compilation video.

"Tourism offers highly skilled, professional careers plus provides flexible and seasonal opportunities for those who do not want to work full-time, such as retirees and students," Fogg said. "We are Maine's largest industry and our workers deserve the greatest respect for that."

Diversity of employment

According to a U.S. Travel Association report, nearly 40% of workers whose first job was in the travel industry reached an annual career salary of more than $100,000 and one-third of Americans who started in travel achieved a bachelor's degree, the news release said.

The Maine Tourism Association said tourism supports nearly 107,000 jobs in Maine, which is 16% of the state's employment. Household income generated through jobs supported by tourism was over $2.5 billion in 2017, and total taxes generated from tourism was nearly $600 million.

The campaign launched last year with the goal of highlighting the positive impact tourism has on the state's economy.

This year's version also touts the diversity of tourism employment.

"In tourism, you can work at a desk or in the woods, at a beach or in the mountains," Fogg said. "You can start at an entry-level job and work your way up or you can earn a college degree and enter a specific field. The possibilities are endless and, most importantly, you can do all of this here in Maine."

The videos highlight why the workers like their careers. For instance, a Maine Guide can earn a living by sharing his love of the outdoors with others and the chef, according to one video, gets "to do a job that I love in the place that I love."

The waiter is a retiree who worked as banker and the resort owner began her career as a waitress when she was a teenager.

The Maine Tourism Association represents over 1,500 members from a full range of tourism businesses including restaurants, lodging establishments, camps and campgrounds, retail, amusements, and guides and other services.

To view the videos, go here.


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