Lonely Planet Writer

The state of Maine wants travellers to come for a vacation and stay for life

Many travellers reach the end of their vacation and wish they could just stay just a little bit longer. Now, a new initiative in Maine will try and convince tourists to turn their visit into a permanent relocation.

Portland Head Light - Cape Elizabeth, ME., USA
Portland Head Light – Cape Elizabeth, ME., USA Image by Doug van Kampen, van Kampen Photography/Getty Images

Maine, USA is known for its beautiful coastlines, plentiful lobster, and as the setting for many a Stephen King story – all of which draws in a lot of visitors to the New England state. But Maine is in need of new residents, so an initiative is aiming to get a reimbursement for travellers’ vacation if they secure a job in the state. The Live and Work in Maine website is designed to help people research potential employers and job openings in Maine. Anyone who applies to one of the job listings can let potential employers know that they found the ad through Live and Work in Maine – and that they are interested in a vacation reimbursement.

Kezar lake in scenic Maine.
Kezar lake in scenic Maine. Image by Joe Shlabotnik / CC BY 2.0

The “Visit for a Week, Stay for a Lifetime” program encourages people from out of state to save their receipts from their trip to Maine. If they are subsequently hired by a Maine employer that is part of the program, they can be reimbursed for all or some of their vacation expenses as a signing bonus, at the discretion of the employer.

While not everyone may be inclined to turn their New England vacation into a brand-new life, the recruitment campaign is also trying to get people to think about what the state has to offer. The website helps job seekers find a particular region of Maine that might suit their interests. For example, the website promotes the Greater Portland and Casco Bay area as having craft beer, shopping, coastlines and an arts and foodie scene. The Maine Beaches region is described as having “classic Maine images and experiences” and features local shops, a sandy coast, upscale living, attractions and water sports. So even if a move seems a little extreme, the website may help travellers decide where to take their vacation, which could be the first step to a whole new life in Maine.