FARMINGTON – The National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Maine Mountain Heritage Network will sponsor a Share Your Heritage Workshop on Monday and Tuesday, June 20 and 21, at the University of Maine at Farmington.

The workshop will support development of new heritage travel opportunities in the mountains of Maine. Representatives from the Oxford Hills area are organizing a team to participate.

Along with representatives from several other Maine mountain communities (from Bethel to Millinocket), the Oxford Hills area team will learn about the heritage tourism market – who are these heritage travelers and what experiences are they looking for? Teams will also identify key local themes and resources and will design theme-based itineraries to appeal to heritage travelers. The workshop is free.

Carolyn Brackett, heritage tourism specialist from the National Trust, and Linda Caldwell, director of the Tennessee Overhill Heritage Association, will act as trainers for the workshop. They have worked with communities in many parts of the United States where they have been successful in creating heritage tourism itineraries.

According to Bruce Hazard, director of Mountain Counties Heritage in Farmington and member of the Maine Tourism Commission, heritage tourism is one of the fastest growing tourism markets in the United States.

“Maine’s mountain region has great heritage resources, but we are not yet attracting our share of heritage travelers,” he said.

Hazard said, “Heritage travelers are interested in finding out about the history and natural history of a place and in discovering authentic local culture.

They enjoy a mix of activities, from outdoor recreation to visiting local museums, to shopping for local crafts or locally grown foods – even going to church suppers. They tend to be well-educated, maybe a little older than the average visitor, and they are willing to spend for a quality experience.”

Anne Campbell of Norway Downtown Revitalization is organizing the team from the Oxford Hills area to participate in the June workshop. Anyone who has an interest in joining the Oxford Hills area team is encouraged to contact Anne at 739-2215.

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