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Governor’s Address: Let’s Encourage Young People to Move Here and Enjoy Our State All Year Round

Attracting talented young people to Maine and making this state their home is a top priority of my administration. As you may have seen, a new sign now greets all people arriving at our state at the Kittery line. It says simply: “Welcome Home.”

I’m not the only one rolling out the welcome mat for Maine’s future innovators, business people, employers, and working people. Maine’s tourism industry is also showing the world that there is no place like home, and no place like Maine.

Maine welcomed more than 37 million visitors in 2018, including over 6 million visitors who discovered our state for the very first time.

From the swift currents of Allagash Falls and Moxie Stream to the peaks of Cadillac and Tumbletown, from the bedrock and sea spray of Nubble Lighthouse and Portland Head Light to the sandy length of Old Orchard Beach and the sweeping sails of Boothbay Harbor ships, families fell in love.

How many of us, both native and “from away,” can still remember the slow summer days of childhood, the peace of sunrises and sunsets without destinations or deadlines, just living in a world onto itself in Maine?

And it’s not just the outdoor recreation that draws visitors from around the world to our state. From Portland Museum of Art to the Maine State Museum, the Bangor Discovery Museum to the Colby College Museum, visitors young and old flock to view the creations of world-class Maine artists.

Our food is quite an attraction, too. Maine’s fisheries and farms help our restaurants win accolades across the country and build Maine’s reputation as a culinary destination. Last year, Portland was designated 2018’s “Restaurant City of the Year” by Bon Appetit Magazine; this year, Maine’s Allagash Brewery was a James Beard Award-winner. 

From beer to the Beehive Loop trail at Acadia, tourism impacts every part of our state. It breathes life into our small businesses, keeping them thriving during the long stretch of winter. It supports year-round amenities and the shopping, dining, and entertainment options that we all continue to enjoy long after the tourists have gone.

And, while the summer stream of out-of-state license plates heading up 295 – and the corresponding traffic – can be tiresome at times, tourism also helps create awareness about the wonders of our state among Maine residents themselves.

In a survey conducted by the Maine Office of Tourism a few years ago, ninety-five percent of residents said they had taken a vacation in Maine – you know, a “staycation” – more than 50 miles from their own home, and seventy-one percent had done so in the past year.

So, whether you travel near or far from home this summer, please enjoy the many wonders of our state and help show our visitors why Maine is “the way life should be.” Let’s encourage young people to move here and enjoy our state all year round.

For more information on places to see, things to do, and outdoor adventures accessible to your family in Maine this summer, please go to www.VisitMaine.com.

I look forward to seeing you at our state parks, on the beach, and at the corner store this summer in Maine. 

Thank you.

Janet Mills

Governor

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