Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Maine - New Brunswick Memorandum of Understanding Phase One Report

The task-force assigned to study cross-border cultural exchange between Maine and New Brunswick submitted their report today. Task-force Members Donna McNeil, Hugh French and Kerstin Gilg presented findings that cite jobs growth and increased economic vitality between the two regions as the most significant outcomes of future regional collaborations.

The report, presented jointly to Governor Baldacci of Maine and Premier David Alward of New Brunswick, is the first of two called for by a Memorandum of Understanding signed earlier this year between leaders of both regions in order to enhance the mutual benefits of cultural relations.

Some encouraging information within the report includes
- Over 32,240 Maine jobs are supported through Canada/U.S. trade.
- Canadians made over 885,400 visits to Maine in 2008, spending an estimated $266 million.
- Visitors to Maine museums alone create an annual sales impact of $148 million with a contribution to state and local taxes of over $7.5 million.
- Cultural and heritage travelers contribute $192.3 billion to the U.S. economy annually and their average spending is $994 (compared to $611 for other leisure travelers).
- Three of the top five vacation activities of 2011 are projected be cultural; these include visits to festivals, visits to art museums and touring historic sites.

The full report can be found at the Maine arts Commission website

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