- Associated Press - Thursday, April 5, 2018

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - State officials say the number of tourists visiting Maine reached a five-year high last year, but tourist spending flatlined.

The Maine Office of Tourism released statistics Wednesday at the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Portland that showed the trend. The Portland Press Herald reports roughly 36.7 million tourists visited the state in 2017, about 8.8 million more tourists than in 2012.

However, spending by tourists only increased about 0.4 percent - a virtually flat change from 2016.

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The state uses DPA, a Portland-based research and analytics firm, to provide its tourism industry estimates.

Office of Tourism Director Steve Lyons says the data could be showing a “realistic growth rate” for Maine’s tourism economy.

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