PORTLAND, Maine — One of the world's largest travel publishers has ranked Maine at the top of its 2020 destination list.

Lonely Planet puts Maine at number four of its "Best in Travel 2020: Top Regions" list. 

While the site focuses on the forthcoming Maine bicentennial, the review says Maine is a great place to visit at all times. 

"The culinary scene has exploded in recent years, and you’ll find farm-to-table restaurants, coffee roasters, artisanal bakers and craft brewers all across the state," reads the article. "And despite Maine’s growing popularity, it’s easy to escape the crowds amid the state’s vast forests and its dramatic, lighthouse-strewn coastline." 

The site also entices travelers to visit Maine Maine because of our vast, differing landscape.

"Committing to the challenge (of Maine) pays off, with pristine campsites, mountaintop sunsets, and some of America’s most spectacular stargazing."

Maine's economy relies heavily on new tourism business each year. According to the Portland Press Herald, over 37 million people visited Maine in 2018, just a 1% increase over 2017. Those 37 million visitors spent nearly $6.2 billion, supporting nearly 110,000 jobs, according to the paper. 

Tourist visits to Maine reached a six-year high last year, but growth slowed to a crawl, raising concern the state has to do more to stand out in a competitive vacation market. There were about 37 million tourist visits to the state in 2018, just 1 percent more than the year before, according to an annual visitation survey commissioned by the Maine Office of Tourism.

During the recent Acadia National Park funding discussion, Ellsworth State Senator Louie Luchini said, "The tourism industry is huge for our economy. It's so important that we keep (Acadia) looking great and keep it safe for visitors to come year after year."

The three regions of the world ahead of Maine were:

  • Central Asia Silk Road
  • LaMarche, Italy
  • Tohoku, Japan

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