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Be a tourist in your own backyard during the coronavirus outbreak

The Greater Bangor, Maine Convention and Visitor's Bureau is rolling out a new tool to help people travel across Maine amid coronavirus closures.

BANGOR, Maine — Memorial Day Weekend typically brings people from out of state here to Maine, but because of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, fewer of them may be heading north.

But for those of us who call Vacationland home, many will be heading to campgrounds this weekend.

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"I think we'll start to see Mainers get out this weekend," Kerrie Tripp, executive director at the Greater Bangor Conventions and Visitors Bureau said.

She and her team are encouraging in-state travel and are launching a new virtual guide to tourism in the area.

"We were planning this before all of this happened before COVID-19 became a thing," Tripp said.

So now the new thing is even more important, plan your entire stay'cation right on your phone using what used to be a published book. Now for the first time this summer now available online. 

The opportunity to learn all about adventure options... wherever you are.

"We really want people to come," Grace Bardsley said. Bardsely works for Destination Moosehead lake. She and her team are getting ready for tourist season, and are hopeful people come and spend their money in the Moosehead region to help out all those mom and pop shops.

It might be strange to be traveling after being cooped up these last few months, Peter Jaimeson with the Katahdin Chamber of Commerce said Mainers are lucky to have so many places to get outside.

"There's a good number who have gotten away from experiencing the state that we live in and I think this is giving us a great opportunity to take advantage," he added.

Tripp said now is the time to get out in our own state and support Maine businesses, and this virtual guidebook is made to help people find their new favorite places.

"Help folks discover something new in their own state, to look at Vacation Land as a true vacation, even if they live here every day," she said.

Officials in the Bangor, Katahdin and Moosehead regions are excited for visitors... but are also asking everyone to practice social distancing, wear a mask when in public, and be kind to one another.

At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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