The Way DownEast region includes the four service centers of Eastport, Lubec, Machias and Calais, plus communities in-between including Perry, Pembroke, Whiting and more within Washington County, Maine. The region also collaborates on tourism issues with Campobello Island, N.B., Canada. As such, the region encompasses three broad communities – The Passamaquoddy People, Washington County, Maine, and Campobello Island, N.B. Canada. Tourism has long been a cornerstone of the region’s economy.
Today, tourism is central to the Way DownEast communities as a local economic development strategy for attracting both visitors and new residents. Destination development is an approach to community and economic revitalization that builds a wide variety of assets – not just traditional tourism elements – to attract visitors and improve quality of life for residents.
The Maine Office of Tourism (MOT) and the Maine Woods Consortium (MWC), in partnership with the Northern Forest Center (NFC), sponsored the DownEast Acadia (Way DownEast) Community Destination Academy (CDA). The initiative has run with formal programming from February to June 2022, with subsequent local planning meetings. This program is being implemented to help support the region develop its tourism economy, and to include a sustainable tourism overlay. A key part of the program is the role of the local coordinator and community-based steering committee. The program is modelled on the Community Destination Academy which has been delivered in other locations around the State of Maine.
For more information about the Way DownEast Project, please contact: