The 3 types of ideal Maine tourists, profiled and illustrated

Tip of the cap here to the Ellsworth American, which sifted through the Maine Office of Tourism’s marketing plan for the year and teased out this enlightening information last week.

Like most good marketing plans, Maine’s identifies target audiences as specifically as it can. It’s interesting to see what three types of people state tourism officials hope visit.

Here they are, named, profiled and illustrated as they appear in the marketing plan:

balanced achievers

According the Maine Office of Tourism, Balanced Achievers are the sorts who “check off their ‘must see and do’ list,” enjoy both “sophisticated, urban experiences” and “places off the beaten path.”

They see vacations as a way to “step back from problems” and “reflect on what’s important in life.”

About a quarter of them (24 percent) have been to Maine before and nearly half (46 percent) would recommend it as a vacation spot to others if they have a good time here. Their average household size is 3.1 people and average household income is $117,495. They’re typically around 42 years old and are ethnically diverse.

genuine originals

Genuine Originals are described as tourists who “exemplify freedom of thought,” “make it a priority to explore nature” and “don’t take cookie-cutter vacations.”

They like “authentic trips with exposure to unique local people, culture and experiences,” not necessarily “luxury … or urban sophistication.”

They’re older (average age 46), surprisingly more wealthy (household incomes around $130,627) and have smaller families (average household size of 2.5) than the Balanced Achievers. They’re more likely to have already visited Maine before (43 percent), but less likely to tell their friends about it (45 percent).

social sophisticates

The Social Sophisticates are very image conscious. They’re described in the marketing plan as “interested in luxury [and] keeping up appearances.”

“They look for trendy vacation spots” and will spend money wantonly.

They’re sort of middle-of-the-pack when it comes to age (43 years) and household sizes (2.8 people), but slightly better off financially (average household income ($132,724) and are often country club members.

They’re a hair more likely than Balanced Achievers to have previously visited Maine (26 percent), but way less likely to recommend it to friends (28 percent) — the latter of which is surprising, considering how hot Maine is right now and how trendy these folks apparently want to seem.

The research the Maine Office of Tourism put into identifying and profiling these ideal tourists, as well as what advertisements would most appeal to them, is impressive and insightful. Read the full marketing plan by clicking here.

Maine businesses that see a fair amount of tourist traffic could look at these profiles to find more effective ways to attract vacationing customers, while people watchers may just want to sit back and try to figure out which categories the out-of-state passers-by fit into.