(Photos from the Boston Harbor Islands cleanup) Thousands…
Francois-Laurent Nivaud is new Executive Director of Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism
Francois-Laurent Nivaud, a respected leader in the Massachusetts hospitality industry, became the new Executive Director for the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism earlier this week. When making the announcement, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said, “Travel and tourism touch every part of the Commonwealth, supporting local economies from the Berkshires to Cape Cod. Francois has been involved in the national hospitality industry for decades, and he is uniquely qualified to help Massachusetts leverage our unique tourism assets to drive broad economic growth.” Assistant Secretary for Business Development Nam Pham noted, “The travel and tourism industry employs more than 130,000 people who receive $3.7 billion in wages, making it one of the largest sectors in the Commonwealth. Francois’ private-sector experience in hospitality, marketing and tourism will help us highlight Massachusetts and draw visitors to festivals, beaches, landscapes and historic sites.” Massachusetts attracts 22.9 million domestic, 735,000 Canadian and 1.5 million overseas visitors each year, according to MOTT. “Supporting Massachusetts’ tourism sector requires identifying and building on the historic and aesthetic aspects of our cities and towns,” said Nivaud. “I look forward to working with the public and private sector to draw people to Massachusetts.” A native of France, Nivaud brings decades of experience in the hospitality and tourism industries to the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. In 1998 he created New England Management Services (NEMS), a think tank for the hospitality industry that has been involved in consulting projects around the country and was instrumental in developing a Hotel & Residences complex at Battery Wharf in Boston in 2008. He was the Managing Director of the Boston Harbor Hotel from 1988-1999, helping to position it as an industry-leading hotel property. He founded the Boston Wine Festival, now in its 27th year, and the Boston Wine Expo, the first wine symposium in the Northeast. Nivaud also served as the Dean of the Roger A. Saunders School of Business & Hospitality Management at Newbury College. He is a Director Emeritus of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau and served on the Board of Director of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce from 1995-2013. He co-founded the Massachusetts Visitor Industry Council and created the Massachusetts Lodging Association. Francois is married with three children and lives in Cohasset. For year-round information on visiting Massachusetts, go to massvacation.com
Boston Marathon Showcases Massachusetts at its Finest
(Photo Courtesy of the Boston Athletic Association) This weekend, Massachusetts welcomes the world for the 120th running of the Boston Marathon, considered one of the premier athletic competitions in modern history. Over 30,000 runners from the United States and 98 other countries are expected to compete on Monday, April 18, 2016, according to the Boston Athletic Association (BAA). Up to one half million fans will line the 26.2 mile route that passes through eight cities and towns from Hopkinton to Boston, cheering on the spirit and determination of the runners. Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Massachusetts Office of Business Development, said the Boston Marathon “underscores the community spirit of our local business and tourism industry, including hotels, restaurants and retail shops. It also provides a welcomed economic boost, especially for small businesses located in cities and towns along the route.” “The Boston Marathon is one of the most iconic sports traditions in the world,” said Francois Nivaud, executive director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. “Thanks to press coverage by over 200 media outlets, the Marathon helps our tourism industry showcase the unparalleled beauty, culture, history and spirit of Massachusetts.” Activities leading up to the Marathon include the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo, taking place Friday, April 15 through Sunday, April 17 at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center at 900 Boylston Street in Boston’s Back Bay. On Saturday, April 16, the BAA is holding a 5K race, starting and ending on Boston Common, with over 10,000 entrants, including 600 from outside the U.S. Pat Moscaritolo, President and CEO of Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, estimates that marathon activities will bring an estimated $188.8 million (USD) in spending impact to the region. “All of us in the Boston area visitor industry look forward each year to the Boston Marathon and the remarkable spending impacts this historic event brings to our community.” The Boston Athletic Association launched the Boston Marathon back in 1897, after one of its members, Arthur Blake, competed in the marathon at the first Modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in 1896. At the 1897 Boston Marathon, 15 runners ran, compared to 30,000 runners in 2016. “Massachusetts is proud of its championship sports culture, ranging from amateur, youth and collegiate programs to our acclaimed professional sports teams,” said Shannah McArdle, Director of the Massachusetts Sports Marketing Office. “The Boston Marathon highlights the competitive and generous spirit of both the sport and the people of Massachusetts.” For information on visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com. To find out more about Massachusetts sporting activities throughout the year, visit Massachusetts Sports Marketing Office.
Massachusetts Plans for 400th Anniversaries in Cities and Towns
(EOHED Secretary Jay Ash and the Plymouth 400 Board of Directors. Image Credits: Denise Maccaferri Photography) History matters in Massachusetts, as evidenced by the Massachusetts 400 Forum held in Plymouth last week, where 150 state and elected officials, tourism leaders, educators, cultural activists and international representatives gathered to make plans for some exciting milestones fast approaching. Hosted by Plymouth 400, Inc., the all-day forum featured presentations, panel discussions and breakout sessions about how Massachusetts can capitalize on the opportunities on the horizon for cities and towns approaching their 400th anniversary. These include Plymouth (1620), Quincy (2025), Salem (2026), and Boston (2030), as well as various other cities and towns in Massachusetts such as Gloucester, Hull, Chelsea, Swampscott and others. See list of Massachusetts cities and towns and year of origin. State Senator Vinny deMacedo welcomed the participants to his district, noting the international flavor of the forum, with participants from the UK and Netherlands. Also on hand were officials from the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, a worldwide group of people who trace their lineage to the original Pilgrims on the Mayflower voyage; and leaders of the Wampanoag Tribe, the indigenous people who were already settled here when the Pilgrims arrived in 1620. Jay Ash, Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development (EOHED) was the keynote speaker at the forum. He praised the work of the Plymouth 400 group and said the upcoming anniversaries provided an opportunity to celebrate the entire Commonwealth, while also elevating the state’s tourism industry. “We are ready to engage in a discussion about how we look at tourism as the major economic engine that it is,” Ash said. While much of the anniversary events will focus on the state’s history, heritage and culture, attendees were also excited about the Mayflower Autonomous Research Ship/MARS project, which “aims to design, build and sail the world’s first full-sized, fully autonomous unmanned ship across the Atlantic Ocean.” Representing the cities and towns were Mayor Kim Driscoll of Salem, Mayor Tom Koch of Quincy, Selectmen Chair Kenneth Tavares of Plymouth, and Tourism, Culture and Sports Director Ken Brissette of Boston. Also represented at the meeting were the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Massachusetts Development and Plymouth County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Michele Pecoraro, Executive Director of Plymouth 400, said, the Massachusetts 400 initiative was developed “to unify the state in commemorating our collective histories. By bringing these communities together, we will not only ensure the greatest possible economic impact, we will also ensure through cross promotion that the increased tourism and visibility is sustained for years to come.” For more information, visit Massachusetts 400 Forum.
Massachusetts Celebrates Maple Month
Governor Charlie Baker has declared March “Massachusetts Maple Month” in an effort to support the Commonwealth’s many maple producers and encourage Massachusetts residents to purchase locally-produced maple products. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Massachusetts is home to approximately 300 maple syrup producers, including many who are open to the public throughout the sugaring season. Last year about 75,000 gallons of maple syrup worth more than $4.3 million was produced across the Commonwealth. Governor Baker called the maple syrup industry “a time-honored Massachusetts tradition,” adding, “I encourage residents to support our local maple syrup producers and purchase delicious Massachusetts maple products.” Approximately $1.9 million in revenue is generated by maple farms, restaurants, bed and breakfasts, country inns, and other attractions in farm communities. Additionally, Massachusetts sugar makers steward more than 15,000 acres of woodland. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito called maple syrup “not only the first agricultural crop of the season but also one of the most important. By declaring March as Massachusetts Maple month, we hope everyone will take part in recognizing the importance of the Commonwealth’s maple producers.” Tapping maple trees in Massachusetts can start at the end of January and continue through April. For prime sugaring, nights must be below freezing and days must be above freezing. Everything from the weather, soil, and genetics of the tree can affect maple syrup flavor. Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton called maple syrup “an inherently sustainable agricultural product because healthy, well-maintained trees can be tapped for over 100 years.” In 2015, Massachusetts ranked 12th in exports for maple syrup totaling just over $282,000, with South Korea being the state’s top trading partner, according to the Massachusetts Export Center. Earlier today, John Lebeaux, Commissioner of Agricultural Resources, joined local and agricultural officials at Stonegate Farms in Conway for a ceremonial sugar maple tree tapping. The Massachusetts Maple Producers Association (MMPA) holds its 3rd Annual Maple Weekend March 19 to 20, featuring open house events at over 45 sugarhouses, and special maple menus at participating restaurants made with 100% pure Massachusetts maple syrup. Go to the MassGrown website and click on maple for a complete listing of maple sugar houses or www.massmaple.org. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism has a roundup of Maple Sugaring activities in Massachusetts.
Seaport Economic Council Announces Grants for Ten Massachusetts Communities
(Photo: Mass Maritime Academy) This week the Baker-Polito Administration’s Seaport Economic Council announced $5.15 million in grant awards to support the maritime economy by facilitating economic growth, supporting coastal infrastructure and increasing educational opportunities. Dartmouth, Gloucester, Harwich, Hingham, Nahant, New Bedford, Plymouth, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth all received grants. The projects include infrastructure improvements that focus on long-term resilience, planning efforts that can unlock significant economic growth potential, and research that can make clean energy more affordable for coastal communities. Governor Charlie Baker said the administration “is committed to helping coastal communities achieve sustainable growth by supporting the thousands of residents that drive our marine economy. Investing in community planning, infrastructure improvements, and locally directed actions that meet our standards of resilience and sustainability will keep these communities strong while supporting the Commonwealth’s economy.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Chairwoman of the Seaport Economic Council, said the grants “will help coastal communities unlock economic growth and job creation on their waterfronts and beyond. The investments made will support local jobs and reinforce Massachusetts’ leadership in diverse sectors of the maritime economy, from commercial fishing to clean energy generation.” Carolyn Kirk, Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, said, “The maritime economy has driven economic growth and job creation in Massachusetts since its foundation. These grants help ensure that our coastal communities have diverse and strong economies.” Kirk is Vice Chair of the Seaport Economic Council and former Mayor of the port city of Gloucester. The Seaport Economic Council was re-launched in August 2015. Its mission is to deepen the maritime economy, promote economic development, and support resilient infrastructure in all 78 of Massachusetts’ coastal communities. while preparing them to engage with the challenges posed by sea level rise and increasingly powerful coastal storms. The council’s capital grant program supports working waterfronts, local tourism, coastal resiliency, and maritime innovation, from the North Shore to Cape Cod and the South Coast. Grant Recipients Cape Cod Commission – $180,000 The Cape Cod Commission will use Seaport Economic Council funding to develop a plan for maritime economy expansion. This plan will focus on leveraging existing strengths, including a well-developed research community and a long history of entrepreneurship, to create regional economic growth and increase the number of non-seasonal skilled jobs. Dartmouth – $1,000,000 Dartmouth’s grant will allow the town to purchase a parcel on its Upper Harbor for development as a welcome center, addressing a community-identified need for public waterfront access. The area will provide educational and recreational opportunities, and will complement the Town’s investment in Padanaram Village by drawing people to new restaurants and local businesses. Gloucester – $151,000 Gloucester’s grant is focused on sustaining and improving the 40 percent of the City’s economy that relies on fishing, processing, shore-side services, and related businesses. It will allow to city to exhibit its seafood locally, regionally and nationally, and will support a branding campaign for “Gloucester Fresh Seafood.” Funding will also help the Fishermen’s Wives Association to procure additional contracts for Gloucester’s seafood with restaurants and institutions. Harwich – $1,000,000 Harwich’s Seaport Economic Council grant supports the town’s efforts to repair the East Dock of the Municipal Marina. This includes significant repairs to the dock’s basic infrastructure, and the replacement of 74 boat slips. The investment supports residents and local businesses. Hingham – $700,000 The Seaport Economic Council’s grant will allow Hingham to build a Maritime Center on Bathing Beach that will support local recreational, commercial, and educational activities. It will allow the town the more effectively promote the Hingham Farmer’s Market and related events, will facilitate boat and paddleboard rentals to residents and tourists, and will provide space to highlight Hingham’s rich history. Massachusetts Maritime Academy – $1,000,000 Funding for the Massachusetts Maritime Academy will support the Pier Extension for Marina Dockage. This will increase the Academy’s capacity to deliver effective training, support educational opportunities, and partner with educational institutions to perform research and development. It will also allow the Academy to provide secure dockage for federal and state emergency response vessels. Nahant – $410,000 The Seaport Economic Council grant to Nahant will reconstruct and stabilize protective walls around Tudor Wharf, to protect the livelihood of Nahant’s commercial fishermen and lobstermen. It will also replace the aging boat ramp and improve associated areas used for boat and equipment storage, support their recreational and commercial use. New Bedford – $250,000 The grant will support planning efforts on the New Bedford waterfront and help identify opportunities for investment in infrastructure and site improvements. This will supplement efforts by the City to reduce barriers to private development along the waterfront and draw new business and jobs to New Bedford. Plymouth – $219,322 Seaport Economic Council funding will help Plymouth to finalize engineering and permitting on its proposed Maritime Facility, and develop a harbor plan. As the second busiest state port and boat ramp in Massachusetts, Plymouth has the potential to leverage untapped economic growth in its harbor and build on a previous Seaport Economic Council Planning Grant awarded in 2009. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth – $239,898 The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth will use Seaport Economic Council funding to support research and development in wave energy. The research has the potential to dramatically reduce manufacturing and deployment costs associated with traditional wave energy generators, making devices smaller, easier to use, and more cost effective. Here is more information on the Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council.
Visit Massachusetts Booth #427 at Boston Globe Travel Show
(Berkshires Vista. Photo by Ogden Gigli) The annual Boston Globe Travel Show gets underway this weekend at the Seaport World Trade Center, with dozens of enticing destinations around the world on display, plus an engaging schedule of cultural and culinary presentations, advice from travel experts and various activities for children. The show opens at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, February 19 and runs through Sunday, February 21 at 4:00 p.m. Of course, there are exciting destinations all around the world, but one thing travel seekers will quickly discover is that they don’t have to go far to enjoy a memorable, exciting, cost-friendly vacation right here in Massachusetts. For further evidence, visit the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism Booth #427, where local tourism officials can share with you the reasons why the Bay State is a great place to take a vacation. Representatives from the 16 regional tourism councils will be on hand to extol the virtues of their part of the Bay State. And visitors to the booth have a chance to win a “Getaway for two to Cape Cod” in 2016, complete with lodging, dinner, gift cars and guest passes to museums, dune tours and whale watching. In addition, the MOTT booth has booked some cherished local characters to stop by and entertain you, including costumed characters from Plimoth Plantation, the Freedom Trail, Fenway Park, Polar Beverage and Davis Farmland. In addition to the MOTT booth, other local attractions on display include the Cruiseport Boston Booth #507, which coordinates the busy cruises from Boston to places like Bermuda, Canada and Europe. And don’t miss the Discover Gloucester Booth #318 or the Provincetown Tourism Office Booth 322. A popular stop in this year’s Globe Travel Show is the Northeast Craft Beer Pavilion, featuring over 30 different breweries from around the region, including many fine beers from Massachusetts brewers. Massachusetts attracts 22.9 million domestic, 735,000 Canadian and 1.5 million overseas visitors each year, according to MOTT. For year-round information on visiting Massachusetts, go to massvacation.com
Hotel Week Boston
The 3rd Annual Hotel Week Boston returns from February 14 – 21, 2016. The annual promotion takes place during February School Vacation, offering families the chance to have a mini-vacation in the city. Hotel Week participants are offering least a 30 percent discount off of the hotel’s best available rate and include amenities such as overnight valet parking. In addition to the hotel specials, Boston’s cultural organizations are also offering specials, such as two-for-one admission at Zoo New England, events at Faneuil Hall, and shopping discounts at the Prudential Center. According to the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB),”there are nearly three dozen new hotel projects planned in greater Boston…with a potential for over 3,000 new hotel rooms in the next 3 years. These hotels are a mixture of full service hotels, boutique properties, and extended-stay facilities. More than half the rooms are planned for the South Boston Waterfront near the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, while the area south of North Station will undergo transformative projects. East Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, and Chelsea are also key areas of new hotel development.” For more information about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.
The Finest Hours Depicts Massachusetts at its Finest
The Finest Hours is a new Disney film about courage, resolve and heroics here in Massachusetts. The film depicts a daring rescue on the high seas by the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Chatham, Cape Cod, during the winter of 1952, when an oil tanker split in two during a severe nor-easter storm off the coast of Cape Cod, putting 32 sailors at risk of being washed away. Four men from the Coast Guard went to save them in 60 foot high waves. The movie was filmed in Chatham, Cohasset, Duxbury, Marshfield, Norwell and Quincy in 2014. The film crew built an 800,000 gallon water tank, measuring 110 x 80 feet, at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, where much of the storm effects were replicated. The Finest Hours joins an illustrious marquee of films that have been made in Massachusetts dating back to 1903, when the Rip Van Winkle Series was shot on Cape Cod and Buzzards Bay. Over the decades, hits like the Thomas Crown Affair, The Verdict, Jaws, Witches of Eastwick, Glory, A Civil Action, Good Will Hunting, Perfect Storm and Fever Pitch have put Massachusetts front and center in the minds of movie lovers everywhere. Here is a chronology of films made in Massachusetts since 1903. To find out more about Cape Cod, visit the Cape Cod Chamber. To visit Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.
16 Top Sporting Events in Massachusetts in 2016
(Caption: Polartec Big Air at Fenway Park) Massachusetts is a powerhouse when it comes to sports. Since the 19th century, when amateur and professional sports became one of America’s abiding passions, the Bay State has been at the forefront of producing great athletes and great sports teams. Just a few early examples: basketball was invented in Springfield, and volleyball was invented in Holyoke. At the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, the ten Boston athletes who competed won 15 of the 20 US medals. The following year, in 1897, the Boston Marathon began its run as the oldest marathon race in the world. Jump to the 21st century: Massachusetts five professional sports teams have won a total of ten championships so far in the century. And Massachusetts continues to stage some of the great athletic competitions in the world. That said, we are proud to issue our ‘Sixteen in Sixteen: Signature Sporting Events in 2016. It provides a perfect overview of special events coming to the Bay State in 2016, alongside our iconic events that occur each year. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) and Massachusetts Sports Marketing Office (MSMO) have compiled the list. Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development said that sporting events “contribute to our state’s economy while defining the spirit and pride of Massachusetts.” He cited as an example, the 2015 Boston Marathon, which “generated $180 million in visitor spending, while branding Massachusetts as a desirable sports tourism destination. That is a winning formula.” Shannah McArdle, director of the Massachusetts Sports Marketing Office, said that “Massachusetts has long been a premier sports destination, with athletes and fans traveling here from around the world. “ Her office’s mission, she said, is to “bring unique new sporting events to Massachusetts to strengthen our reputation as a state of champions.” Massachusetts attracts 22.9 million domestic, 735,000 Canadian and 1.5 million overseas visitors each year, according to MOTT. For more information on visiting Massachusetts, go to massvacation.com. For year round information on sporting events, visit masportsoffice.com. February 1 & 8 Beanpot Hockey Tournament TD Garden, Boston Initiated in 1952, the Beantown features four seminal local hockey teams: Boston College, Boston University, Harvard University and Northeastern University. February 11 Polartec Big Air Fenway Park, Boston The U.S. Grand Prix big air snowboarding and free skiing event features champion athletes of Olympic and World Championship caliber navigating 140 foot high snow ramps. March 25-26 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Northeast DCU Center, Worcester Four of the best college teams in the northeast play elimination hockey, with the winner advancing to the NCAA Frozen Four National Championships. March 28-April 3 ISU World Figure Skating Championships TD Garden, Boston The most prestigious figure skating competition in the world, the World Figure Skating Competition draws Olympic-caliber ice skaters from countries around the world. April 11 Boston Red Sox Opening Day Fenway Park, Boston Boston Red Sox opening day at Fenway Park is one of the city’s great traditions, dating back to 1913. This year, the Red Sox play the Baltimore Orioles. April 18 Boston Marathon Hopkinton to Boston The world’s oldest marathon, established in 1897, draws elite runners from around the world and is considered one of the best sporting events anywhere. 2016 marks the 120th annual race. June 10, 12, 18 Copa America Centenario Gillette Stadium, Foxborough South America’s most popular soccer tournament debuts in the United State in 2016. Gillette Stadium is one of ten US venues chosen, and is hosting three games, including a quarter-final match. Soccer powerhouses Argentina and Brazil are in the Gillette groups. August 6-7 Pan-Mass Challenge Statewide Since 1980, the Mass-Pan Challenge has raised over half a billion dollars for cancer research at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Bicycle teams cycle all across Massachusetts. August 9-18 Babe Ruth Baseball World Series Bullens Field, Westfield Top baseball players from across the USA, Canada, Bermuda and the Bahamas come to western Massachusetts this summer to compete at the 2016 Babe Ruth World Series. August 18-21 US Rowing Masters National Championship Lake Quinsigamond, Worcester The world’s top rowers, 21 and older, compete in 202 categories at Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, which has been hosting regattas since the 1850s. August 21 Falmouth Road Race Woods Hole to Falmouth, Cape Cod The 44th annual Falmouth Road Race attracts 12,000+ Olympians, elite and recreational runners who compete along a seven mile scenic stretch of Cape Cod. September 2-4 Indy Grand Prix Seaport District, Boston Twenty of the world’s top race car drivers compete in this fast paced, multi-sport racing event over Labor Day weekend, with contestants using single-seat, open-cockpit, twin-turbocharged cars. September 2-5 Deutsche Bank Golf Championship TCP Boston Golf Course, Norton The world’s best golfers play here each Labor Day weekend on this acclaimed par 71 course originally crafted by golfing legend Arnold Palmer. October 15-16 Gran Prix of Gloucester Stage Fort Park, Gloucester Known as the ‘steeplechase of bicycle racing,’ the Gloucester Gran Prix draws competitors from USA, Canada and Europe, racing over an obstacle course overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. October 22-23 Head of the Charles Regatta Boston and Cambridge Launched in 1965, Head of the Charles draws 11,000 athletes from the world’s best crew teams to compete on the Charles River, cheered on by 400,000+ spectators. November 19 Harvard-Yale Football Game Harvard Stadium, Cambridge One of the oldest collegiate rivalries in college football, these two ivy-league colleges have been battling each other on the gridiron since 1875. This is the 133rd game between Harvard and Yale.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker Delivers State of the Commonwealth Address, January 21, 2016
Governor Charlie Baker gave his first State of the Commonwealth Address on Thursday, January 21, 2016 from the House Chamber of the Massachusetts State House. Here is a written version of Governor’s Baker’s address.
Take a First Day Hike in Massachusetts
Massachusetts is part of a 50-state initiative to start 2016 with a First Day Hike, a chance for local residents and visitors to welcome the New Year outdoors in America’s state parks. The annual tradition originated at the Blue Hills State Reservation in Milton, Massachusetts 25 years ago, and today the tradition is embraced by all 50 states. Last year, over 997 First Day Hikes were held in state parks across the country, and a record-breaking 41,153 people participated and logged in 79,892 miles of hiking, according to the National Association of State Parks. In Massachusetts, the Department of Conservation & Recreation is organizing First Day Hikes in 11 state parks. “First Day Hikes will provide an excellent opportunity for people of all ages to get outside and enjoy nature,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “It’s a great way to kick off the New Year and discover some of Massachusetts most exceptional landscapes.” In addition, the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism has issued First Day activities across the Commonwealth, ranging from frisbee gold and 5K races to museum visits and yoga class.
Shop Local in Massachusetts This Holiday Season
(Caption: A Child’s Garden, Northampton. Photo by Lynne Graves) by Nam Pham This holiday season, I am heading down to Quincy Center to do my gift shopping, then over to Fields Corner in Dorchester. And I may even talk a trip to Boston’s Downtown Crossing and Chinatown. My plan is to buy my holiday gifts locally, as a way of supporting the businesses who keep our Main Streets, Gateway Cities and neighborhoods vibrant and strong throughout the year. Earlier this week, Governor Charlie Baker joined the Retailers Association of Massachusetts (RAM) and business leaders at Faneuil Hall to kick off the #BuyinMA campaign, a concerted effort to get Massachusetts residents to buy local this season. “Our local retailers play a big part in making our cities and towns great,” Governor Baker said. “Let’s keep it that way by doing as much of our holiday shopping here in Massachusetts over the next month.” With over 600,000 retailers in Massachusetts, accounting for one in five jobs, there is no shortage of places to go in the 351 cities and towns of the Commonwealth. Many of these are small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy. Jon Hurst, president of Retailers Association of Massachusetts, said, “When you buy in Massachusetts, you are supporting local employers, their employees, local tax revenue and local investments in communities and the economy.” The holiday season represents 20% of annual retail sales, and that is why December is an important month for stores and small businesses. Massachusetts retailers posted a 3.4 percent increase in holiday sales last year, and there have been five consecutive year-over-year gains during the period, according to RAM. We hope we can make it six consecutive years in 2015. Buying local does not mean you cannot find international or exotic items. Massachusetts local businesses come from all over the world and have products from all corners of the globe. You can easily get exquisite silk scarfs from India or Vietnam, or intricate wood carving from Africa or Central America or warm lamb wool sweaters from Ireland or Australia, to name a few. Just visit your Main Street stores in places like Abington, Burlington, Cambridge, Chinatown, Fields Corner, Lowell, Somerville, Northampton or Worcester – you will find everything you need. US Congressman Tip O’Neill of Cambridge famously said that ‘All Politics Is Local.’ This season, let’s make sure that all shopping stays local too.
Seaport Economic Council Announces $6.6 Million in Grants to Support Massachusetts Coastal Communities
(Port of New Bedford) The Baker-Polito Administration’s Seaport Economic Council has announced $6.6 million in economic development and infrastructure grants funding to Chatham, Gosnold, Marshfield, New Bedford, Quincy, Salem, Saugus, Salisbury, Winthrop, and the Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative. The grants will support pier, port, and boardwalk improvements focused on long term economic and physical resilience, and a tidal energy testing initiative in the Cape Cod Canal, while advancing the maritime economy in a diverse set of coastal communities. Here are details on the grant awards, which were announced on November 20, 2015. Governor Charlie Baker said the grants “showcase our Administration’s commitment to advancing sustainable growth in communities of all sizes. We will continue to partner with coastal communities to support blue jobs, partnerships with public education, maritime planning efforts, and coastal infrastructure projects that meet standards of resilience and sustainability, and to ensure they are able to play a robust role in the Commonwealth’s economic future.” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Chairwoman of the Seaport Economic Council, said that enhanced waterfronts “will create jobs and drive growth for residents” while helping to “prepare communities for growth, support resilient infrastructure and local economies, and unlock further job creation.” Carolyn Kirk, Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development and Vice Chair of the Seaport Economic Council, said, “The maritime economy has driven job creation, and economic development in Massachusetts’ for centuries. The investments we are making will continue Massachusetts’ national leadership of this important sector of the economy.” Kirk is former Mayor of the port city of Gloucester. The Seaport Economic Council was re-launched in August, with a mission to deepen the maritime economy, promote economic development, and support resilient infrastructure in all 78 of Massachusetts’ coastal communities while preparing them to engage with the challenges posed by sea level rise and increasingly powerful coastal storms. The council’s capital grant program supports working waterfronts, local tourism, coastal resiliency, and maritime innovation, from the North Shore to Cape Cod and the South Coast.
Massachusetts Says “Vive la France”
Massachusetts citizens and public officials are standing with the people of France in the wake of the Paris bombings. On Sunday, November 15, hundreds of people turned out for a vigil on Boston Common to express sympathy and solidarity with the French. Governor Charlie Baker, US Senator Elizabeth Warren and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh attended the rally, which was organized by the Consulate General of France in Boston. “We stand with France, as we always will. Vive la France,” Governor Baker said to Valery Freland, Consul General of France in Boston. The United States flag and the Commonwealth flag are being flown at half-staff at all state buildings until sunset on Thursday, November 19, 2015, in honor of the victims of the attacks in Paris. Massachusetts and France share historical and cultural ties dating back to the American Revolution, when Marquis de Lafayette spearheaded the French Government’s supply of troops, ships and finances to George Washington and the colonial troops. The Boston Athenaeum recently had an exhibit called Lafayette: An American Icon. Today, the French Cultural Centre in Boston’s Back Bay provides an authentic French cultural and social experience, hosting lectures, concerts, festivals and educational courses throughout the year. France is Massachusetts’ 13th largest export partner, purchasing $647 million in products from Massachusetts companies in 2014, according to the Massachusetts Export Center. And in 2013, 71,000 French tourists visited Massachusetts, spending $85 million and contributing $5 million in state and local taxes, according to the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. Here is the French-language version of massvacation.com.
Massachusetts Celebrates Lobster Day at the State House on October 8
(Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism — Lobsters & Seafood Flickr Page) By Phyllis M. Cahaly Have you ever seen a 175 year-old lobster that weighs 39.5 lbs.? If not, then stop by the Massachusetts State House on Thursday, October 8, 2015, which Governor Charlie Baker has officially proclaimed as National Lobster Day in Massachusetts. Sponsored by the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, Lobster Day takes place at the Grand Staircase from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.. In addition to promoting the lobster industry, the event also connects local fishermen with their legislators to discuss important issues on regulations and topics both on- and off-the water. Each year, lobstering in Massachusetts yields an average of $70 million dollars in economic impact to the Bay State. The average landings in Massachusetts over the last 3 years is 15 million pounds of lobster per year. Plus, lobstering touches a variety of support service industries, including marinas, mechanics, bait dealers, marine supply stores, lobster dealers, processors, restaurants and trap purveyors. Lobstering in Massachusetts accounts for more than 3,000 fishing jobs with at least 1,100 active lobstering permits at any given time. Many of today’s lobstermen are proud to be part of a family tradition that goes back five or six generations. The seafood industry is an integral part of the Massachusetts economy. The Massachusetts Export Center reports that lobsters accounted for over $192 million in exports, while total seafood exports topped $478 million in 2014. In August, the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development (EOHED) revitalized the Seaport Economic Council to propel economic development in the state’s 78 coastal communities, from Fall River and New Bedford up to Gloucester and Salisbury Beach. The Council will focus on strengthening the state’s maritime economy through fishing, tourism, shipping, clean energy and marine science. On Lobster Day at the State House, officials are handing out free lobster literature on how to eat a “Homarus Americanus”, (The American Lobster) and their nutritional value. The Silent Chef Company of Scituate is serving up free lobster bisque samples, while the New England Aquarium its featuring its multi-colored live lobster displays. Fishermen and dealers from the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association dealers and fishermen are holding a free raffle to win live lobsters. When the Pilgrims and Puritans first arrived in the Bay State in the early 17th century, lobsters were so plentiful that Native Americans used them as fertilizer in the fields and as bait for fishing. Today, you can find lobsters all around Massachusetts at your favorite restaurants and local distributors. Make today a Lobster Day! For information on visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com. (Phyllis M. Cahaly, CMD, is Director of Specialized Marketing at Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism.)
Massachusetts Convention Industry Says “Bring it On” This Winter
State and local officials have teamed up to send a tongue-in-check but serious message to prospective convention groups affected by last winter’s record snowfall: Bring it on! A new two-minute video issued by the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB) includes cameo appearances by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Ed Freni, Director of Aviation at Massport, along with enthusiastic event planners. Boston comedian and political commentator Jimmy Tingle narrates the video. The video’s message? While Boston occasionally has tough winters, our exceptional convention facilities, customer service, convenient airport location, transportation access and city amenities more than make up for a little snow! “The 2015 Boston winter was epic with over 110 inches of snow,” says Beth Stehley, VP of Sales & Convention Services at GBCVB. “As planners begin planning for meetings in 2016, we want them to think Boston. Bring it on, we want to make their meeting a success from the time they arrive until they depart.” Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority estimated that in 2015, 900,000 people would attend conventions in Massachusetts, generating 615,000 hotel room nights and $610 million in economic impact. Tourism is an important part of the Massachusetts economy. In 2013, 25 million visitors came to Massachusetts, accounting for $18.5 billion in direct spending and $1.2 billion in state and local taxes, according to the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism.
Berklee BeanTown Festival Kicks off Autumn of Massachusetts Jazz Fests
(Caption: Jazz Trumpet Player Christian Scott Performing at Beantown on September 26) Jazz is everywhere in Massachusetts – on college campuses, in hotels and restaurants, night clubs and coffee shops, concert halls and outdoor venues. And it flourishes all year round. Last Spring, Governor Charlie Baker issued a Proclamation declaring April to be Jazz Month in Massachusetts, calling jazz “one of America’s most treasured imports” and praising the state’s “rich jazz heritage.” The 2015 fall festival season kicks off with the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival in Boston’s South End. The free, annual, outdoor festival runs from noon to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 26, 2015. The festival stretches across six blocks, filled with live music on multiple stages, an array of food vendors from all over the world, and local artisans who are selling their wares. This year’s theme is Jazz: The Voice of the People, and features amazing contemporary artists like trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, clarinet master Felix Peikli, the Mosaic Project featuring Terri Lyne Carrington and Jaguar Wright, Latin percussionist Eguie Castrillo Orchestra, sax player George Garzone, and New Orleans singer Ledisi. Beantown also features dozens of great performers from the Berklee College of Music faculty and students. Here is a full roster of performers. Below is a schedule of other upcoming jazz festivals in Massachusetts through October, 2015. September 27-October 4 JazzFest Falmouth 2015 Three-time Grammy Nominee Denise Donatelli, Toni Lynn Washington, Jon Weber, Goodis & Glenn are among the performers. Also, outdoor jazz strolls, jazz brunch and lectures. October 8-11 HONK! Festival Davis Square, Somerville Harvard Square, Cambridge Activist street bands from all over the world converge to Honk! each year. The 2015 roster includes Brazil, Italy, Germany and Britain. Check out local favorites Dirty Water Brass Band and Samba Tremeterra, as well as the Hot 8 from New Orleans. October 9-18 Pittsfield City Jazz Festival Six-time Grammy winner Randy Brecker performs with the Greg Hopkins Jazz Orcestra, plus jazz virtuoso Frank Vignola, the poupular jazz crawl on Columbus Day weekend, jazz prodigy concert, jazz brunch, and nightly jazz in clubs and restaurants. October 10 Holyoke Latin Jazz Festival Holyoke War Memorial Auditorium Downtown Holyoke Latin Jazz bands include Victor Sterling & Sabor a Timba, WILO & DeLomas & Sones Band and Dino & Su Alegre Swing. For year round info on live jazz, visit MassJazz.com. For visitor information go to MassVacation.com.
State Officials Celebrate Massachusetts Day at the Big E, September 24
MOTT Executive Director Rich Doucette and EEA Secretary Matt Beaton Welcomed Visitors to Massachusetts Day at the Big E. Photo by Phyllis Cahaly. The Eastern States Exposition, affectionately known as the Big E, is celebrating Massachusetts Day today, with state officials from Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) and Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) on hand to welcome visitors to the Massachusetts Building, where local businesses and vendors are displaying their wares. EEA Secretary Matthew A. Beaton and MDAR Commissioner John LeBeaux joined MOTT Executive Director Rich Doucette, who read the Massachusetts Day Proclamation from Governor Charlie Baker. Located in West Springfield, the Big E was first launched 98 years ago in 1917 by local businessmen who wanted to display the rich agriculture and industry traditions of the 10 eastern states, from Vermont to Delaware. This year, the Big E is expected to draw over one million visitors to the 175 acre grounds over the 17 day schedule. The Big E runs through October 4, 2015. For details on visiting Massachusetts any time of year, visit MassVacation.com.
September is Massachusetts Apple Month, Proclaims Governor Baker
(Apple picking, Belkin Family Lookout Farm in Natick. Photo by C. Holland) Governor Charlie Baker today declared September to be “Massachusetts Apple Month.” Today’s announcement coincides with New England Apple Day and is an effort to support the Commonwealth’s many apple growers. “We are proud to recognize Massachusetts as a regional leader in apple processing and distribution and that our agricultural partners are working together to strengthen and expand the apple industry,” said Governor Baker. “By declaring this month ‘Massachusetts Apple Month,’ we encourage everyone to support our vibrant agricultural industry in order to strengthen consumers’ awareness of Massachusetts grown produce.” “Apples are an important part of our local food system, and we are thankful to have a strong industry here in Massachusetts, with producers and processors who are forward thinkers, using advanced environmental technology and conservation practices,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “I urge everyone to support Massachusetts’ apple growers this month by purchasing apples and other produce grown locally.” Massachusetts boasts more than 140 varieties of apples grown in the state, including local favorites such as McIntosh, Cortland, Macoun, Gala and Honeycrisp. According to the United States Apple Association, apples contain no fat, cholesterol or sodium and are excellent sources of fiber, natural plant-based anti-oxidants and the mineral boron – which promotes healthy bones. “We are honored to recognize Massachusetts apple growers who work hard to produce this nutritious and delicious. Our apple growers are committed to caring for the land, preserving open space, and implementing best management practices,” said Commissioner John Lebeaux, Department of Agricultural Resources. “I encourage residents to take advantage of the many great local varieties apple growers produce by visiting Massachusetts orchards, farm stands and farmers’ markets across the Commonwealth.” With approximately 340 apple orchards in Massachusetts on over 4,000 acres of land, the Commonwealth yielded over 28 million pounds of apples worth $20 million in 2012. Visit DAR’s farm finder to find information on Massachusetts apple orchards, pick-your-own apple farms, farmers’ markets, and roadside produce stands. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism recently issued a blog on upcoming food festivals, farmers markets and agricultural fairs in Massachusetts. You can also find a year round round culinary calendar on MassVacation.com.
OUTSIDE THE BOX FESTIVAL CELEBRATES THE ARTS IN MASSACHUSETTS
(Caption: Shea Rose is performing at Outside the Box on Sunday, July 19) Photo Courtesy of MOTT If anyone needs reminding of the power of the arts to inspire, enlighten, engage and entertain, then make your way to the Outside the Box Performing Arts Festival on Boston Common this weekend to understand why arts and culture are celebrated here in Massachusetts. Over 70 performers are appearing at the nation’s oldest public park (1634) in downtown Boston on multiple stages, tents, lawns and walkways, providing some of the best live music, dance and theater you’ll hear this summer. See full schedule here. And best of all, Outside the Box is free. In fact, Outside the Box is just one of hundreds of free activities taking place across the Bay State this summer. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) just released its Wicked Free Summer Fun calendar of over 400 free activities of interest to visitors and residents alike. They range from free concerts, museum visits and walking tours to outdoor movies, beaches and food festivities. The events are divided into six regions for easy access. The visionary behind Outside the Box is Ted Cutler, a Dorchester native and Emerson College alumnus who is one of the city’s most involved philanthropists. A musician, bandleader and impresario himself, Ted’s appreciation of arts and culture inspired him, along with his late wife Joan, to envision, organize and finally present Outside The Box, now in its second year. “The arts have the power to inspire people of all ages, from all backgrounds. But to be inspired, individuals must have both access and exposure,” he said. “That’s where Outside The Box comes in. We want to bring a community together, in a celebration of all the arts has to offer. Come for one performance and you may end up staying for five, and returning throughout the week. We want to expose people to acts they never imagined.” Nationally known acts like Gin Blossoms, contestants from the hit TV show The Voice, Guster and Kacey Musgraves are the headliners of this year’s festival, and receiving their rightful share of attention. But what is most impressive about the festival is the scope, diversity and breadth of the local performers who really make Outside the Box an authentic Boston event. The Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Bill Banfield and the Jazz Urbane, Boston Lyric Opera and the Boston Ballet School are just some of the local institutions performing at Outside the Box. The final day of the festival, Sunday, July 19 offers a nice showcase of Boston-based artists, says spokeswoman Erin Callanan, including “Will Dailey, Shea Rose, Ruby Rose Fox, Bad Rabbits and Air Traffic Controller – all local bands on the verge of big things.” For more information about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com
18TH CENTURY TIME CAPSULE REPRESENTS ICONIC MASSACHUSETTS
Massachusetts is proud of its rich and revered history, as evidenced by the Time Capsule Ceremony taking place at the Massachusetts State House on Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Governor Charlie Baker and Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin, along with state officials, dignitaries, museum archivists, school children and history fans are gathering on the State House lawn to return a time capsule, dating to the 18th century, back in the cornerstone of the building. The capsule contains invaluable items from the early years of our nation: silver and copper coins dating from 1652 to 1855; a silver plaque thought to be engraved by Paul Revere; a copper medal depicting George Washington; 18th century newspapers; and the title page from the Massachusetts Colony Records. It was first placed in the cornerstone back in 1795 by Governor Sam Adams. The only time it saw the light of day was in 1855, when the building foundation needed emergency repairs. Then in 2014, the time capsule was re-discovered during work on the building and taken out of its resting place for inspection at the Museum of Fine Arts. Now it is returning to its coveted spot, where it will lay hidden for future generations to re-discover. The ceremony kicks off at 9:45 a.m. with a procession from Boston Common to the State House featuring the Ancient and Honorable Military Artillery Company of Massachusetts, the 215th Army Band Vocal Quartet, the Grand Lodge of Masons, the famous Clydesdale horses and hundreds of schoolchildren there to see history in the making. The formal ceremony takes place on the State House lawn, starting at around 10 a.m. The event is free and open to the public, and is also being streamed live. Massachusetts has long been one of the most iconic places in America – full of people, places and events that stand the test of time. The time capsule is a proud bearer of the history of Massachusetts and the nation. For more information, visit the Secretary of State web site. To learn more about history in Massachusetts, visit MassVacation.com.
Massachusetts Welcomes Aeromexico direct air service between Boston and Mexico City
This week Massachusetts officials welcomed Aeromexico’s new direct air service between Boston and Mexico City, citing enhanced opportunities in business, tourism and educational exchange between the two places. The new service launched on Monday, June 1, 2015 between Boston’s Logan International Airport and Mexico City’s Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juarez. Governor Charlie Baker said the new route opens up connections to 16 major cities in Latin America including Buenos Aires, Lima and Bogota, adding “it not only opens doors for business, but it lets our diverse residents and visiting students easily connect to their families.’’ With daily service every day (except Tuesday), Aeromexico flight 699 leaves Boston at 4:20 p.m. and arrives in Mexico City at 8:42 p.m. Flight 698 leaves Mexico City at 9 a.m. and arrives in Boston at 3:05 p.m. The Boeing 737-700 airplanes have 124 seats, including 12 seats in the Aeromexico Clase Premier Business Class cabin. Anko van der Werff, Aeromexico Chief Revenue Officer, called Boston “a city of great importance for Mexico and Latin America because of its global economic potential and extensive academic offerings that draw many students from Mexico and Latin America every year.” Officials said the market between Boston and Mexico City, combined with the airlines’ other 45 destinations in Mexico and Central America, represents over 492,000 passengers and $134M in ticket revenue annually. As a member of the SkyTeam Airline Alliance, Aeromexico partners with Delta and other partner airlines to use Boston Logan International Airport as a gateway to Europe. Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn said the two cities have much in common. “Like Boston, Mexico City is a place that honors its significant history, it is a cultural and political hub for its people, has a large concentration of universities, and it is a city that celebrates its diversity.” Last year, more than 40,000 Mexicans traveled from Mexico to Massachusetts, according to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries. Patrick Moscaritolo, President and CEO of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the new service “will mean more visitors and significantly more spending from Mexico and Latin America for our city and for our hotels, restaurant, attractions and retailers.” The local visitor industry could see as much as $54 million in new spending thanks to Aeromexico’s new service. Paula Murphy, Director of the Massachusetts Export Center, says Mexico is currently the Commonwealth’s third largest export partner. In 2014, Massachusetts exported $2.3 billion worth of goods and services to Mexico, while importing $3.6 billion from Mexico. For more information about visiting Massachusetts, go MassVacation.com.
Governor Baker Proclaims Tourism Day in Massachusetts, May 13, 2015
Cathay Pacific Airways Launches Direct Boston-Hong Kong Air Service
Massachusetts continues to enlarge its international presence as Cathay Pacific Airways, voted the world’s best airlines in 2014, launched its new non-stop service between Boston and Hong Kong this week. The non-stop service flies between Boston Logan International Airport and Hong Kong International Airport four times a week, and cuts out over four hours from the current one-stop flight times from New York or Chicago, according to MassPort. Tom Owen, Senior VP for Cathay Pacific, said the new route will connect “the greater New England region with numerous Asian cities, including over 23 destinations in Mainland China, as well as key economic and tourism hubs throughout Southeast Asia, such as Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Bali, and Hanoi.” “By adding this flight and this prestigious airline to our roster, it proves that Boston Logan has become a player on the world stage,” said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn, adding, “The entire New England region will benefit” by creating new business connections and improving existing ones. Officials hope the Cathay Pacific route will also increase Massachusetts exports to Asia, due to the Boeing 777-300ER belly capacity, and connectivity through the new Cargo Terminal in Hong Kong to Cathay’s extensive Asian freighter network. They predict it will also strengthen existing business, educational and cultural ties with Hong Kong and all of Asia. Here is the new Cathay Pacific schedule: Summer 2015 Flight no From To Departure/Arrival Days of operation CX811 BOS HKG 0145/0535 +1 day Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun CX812 HKG BOS 1800/2130 Mon, Tue, Thur, Sat Winter 2015 Flight no From To Departure/Arrival Days of operation CX811 BOS HKG 0130/0620 +1 day Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun CX812 HKG BOS 1800/2040 Mon, Tue, Thur, Sat When the route was first announced in 2014, Australian Business Traveler reported that it would “give Perth and Adelaide residents a new one-stop option to the USA east coast.” Officials at Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism are enthusiastic about the new international air routes coming online at Boston Logan Airport. In 2013, international travel in Massachusetts increased by 12%, totaling over two million foreign visitors, according to MOTT. Massport currently has 75 domestic and 44 international destinations served nonstop from Logan Airport, according to Yil Surehan, Director of Airline Route Development at Massport. The Asian tourism market continues to be a priority in Massachusetts. In June, 2015, Hainan Airlines is adding a direct service between Logan Airport and Shanghai Pudong Airport, complementing a Boston-Beijing direct route that launched in June 2014.
2015 Frozen Four Men’s Hockey Championship Comes to Boston
(Photo courtesy of Boston University, Photograph by Steve McLaughlin) Massachusetts is the center of the universe for collegiate hockey fans in the next couple of days as the Frozen Four 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Championships come to Boston’s famed TD Garden. Local hockey fans have an added treat, since two of the four teams – Boston University and Providence College – hail from New England. On Thursday, April 9, Providence faces off with University of Nebraska at Omaha while Boston University takes on the University of North Dakota. The winners of those two matches meet for the championship game on Saturday, April 11. In addition to the excitement and excellence of the competing teams, the Frozen Four is a welcome boost for the state’s tourism industry. The event will inject an estimated $14.3 million into the Massachusetts economy, according to the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB). TD Garden reports that over 35,000 tickets have been sold, with 79% of tickets purchased by people outside of Massachusetts. GBCVB head Pat Moscaritolo says the tournament “is a huge shot in the arm for our economy and a big jump-start for our spring tourism season.” Shannah McArdle, head of the Massachusetts Marketing Sports Office, says her office actively works with local sports venues to bring athletic tournaments like Frozen Four to Massachusetts because of the economic impact they have on small businesses and the travel & hospitality industry. In addition, securing these championships strengthens Massachusetts’ brand as being one of the world’s most visible and exciting sporting centers. Past events secured by Massachusetts have included the U.S. Figure Skating National Championships, the NCAA Men’s Basketball East Regional Championships; the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship Weekend; the USA Gymnastics Women’s Olympic Gymnastic Trails. The Frozen Four hockey games are the main draw, of course, but organizers have also set up plenty of fan events that give visitors and locals alike a chance to celebrate their teams and revel in the excitement the tournament brings. Massachusetts is no stranger to championship competition, with home-town teams like the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins, New England Patriots and New England Revolution. Massachusetts is also home to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, the Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke and the Sports Museum in Boston. Amateur athletics have an illustrious and distinguished tradition in Massachusetts too, dating back to the 19th century when the state was a center for amateur rowing, track & field and boxing. Then in 1896, when Athens, Greece hosted the first Modern Olympic Games, nine of the fourteen USA athletes came from Boston, the rest came from Princeton. The Boston athletes won 13 of the 20 American medals. The following year, in April 1897, the Boston Athletic Association initiated the first Boston Marathon, which has become one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world. This year’s 119th Boston Marathon takes place on Patriot’s Day, April 20, 2015. So good luck to the participants in this year’s Frozen Four Hockey Championships at TD Garden. And enjoy your time in Massachusetts. For more information about sporting events in Massachusetts, contact the Massachusetts Sports Marketing Office.
Edward M. Kennedy Institute of the US Senate Offers Lessons in Democracy
Massachusetts, with its own illustrious traditions of politics and government, is poised to tell the distinctive story of American democracy at the newly launched Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate. The non-partisan center of learning was created as a tribute to the late Senator Ted Kennedy, who represented Massachusetts in the U.S. Senator for 47 years. The Institute’s mission is to “educate the public about the important role of the Senate in our government, encourage participatory democracy, invigorate civil discourse, and inspire the next generation of citizens and leaders to engage in the civil life of their communities.” At the Institute’s formal opening on March 30, 2015, the Kennedy family welcomed President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Senators John McCain, Trent Lott, Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey and other dignitaries from around the world. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh welcomed the audience, and music was provided by the Boston Pops. See video of the formal dedication. Educators are excited by the Institute’s use of high tech exhibits, including digital tablets that allow students to interact with the procedures that go into making laws, while learning about the important issues of the day. Dr. Bill DeWalt, Executive Vice President and Museum Director, says the Institute will be “a valuable resource for everyone from students to seniors. Our exhibits are designed to appeal to people of all ages, and we will offer a variety of programs, lectures and symposia for adults.” Tourism officials predict that international visitors will make their way to the Institute to learn more about American democracy. DeWalt says the Institute is “offering multiple languages on the digital tablet that guides non-English speakers through the exhibit. Spanish, French, German, Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese, and Portuguese languages will be available initially,” he said. “These translations provide high-level interpretations of the basic content introduced with each exhibit.” Situated at Columbia Point in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate is located right next to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. Together these two institutions will attract visitors from across the country and from around the world, while inspiring students and citizens everywhere to appreciate the importance of public service. For more information about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.
Massachusetts Celebrates Agriculture Day at State House
(Boston City Hall Farmers Market, Courtesy of Mass Office of Travel & Tourism) The Massachusetts State House resembled a bustling farmer’s market today, as the Commonwealth’s diverse community of small farmers, food purveyors, farming cooperatives, seafood associations, academic programs and advocates gathered for the annual Massachusetts Agriculture Day. Nearly 600 people attended the celebration, including 45 exhibitors who showcased the rich bounty of food and beverage produced in Massachusetts. It was an opportunity for legislators and public officials to meet with one of the state’s most enduring and productive communities. Governor Charlie Baker used the occasion to announce that he was adding an additional $1 million to the popular AgEnergy Grants Program over the next two years. “A vibrant agricultural community in Massachusetts is essential to building healthy communities and a stronger economy across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Baker. “As we celebrate the impact agriculture brings to our economy and history today, the expansion of the AgEnergy Grants will help our Commonwealth’s farmers address their energy needs and increase their future opportunities for competitiveness in the global marketplace.” Governor Baker was joined at the event by Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton, and Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux. Agriculture Day was organized by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, along with the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation, which was recognized with a citation from the Governor for 100 years of service. On hand was an abundance of locally harvested and produced items, ranging from oysters, cranberry juice and maple milk to cheese, honey and fruit pies. And culinary students from the Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School in Marlboro prepared and served a variety of dishes made from Massachusetts products, such as turkey, lamb, root vegetables, honey and local cheeses. The farming industry in Massachusetts generates nearly $490 million in revenues, maintaining about 525,000 acres of open space. There are about 7,755 farms, employing 12,000 workers, according to Mary Jordan, Director of the Division of Agricultural Markets at the Mass Department of Agricultural Resources Paula L. Murphy, Director of the Massachusetts Export Center, says that the state generated over $1 billion of food and agricultural exports in 2014. Nationally, “Massachusetts is number one in scallops, number one in cranberry juice and number three in seafood exports in 2014,” according to Murphy. Tourists also appreciate the state’s agricultural riches. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism has developed a handy overview of culinary activities for visitors, including this culinary calendar of food festivals and fairs.
Dreams of Freedom Exhibit Hails Massachusetts’ Immigrant Story
Massachusetts has a compelling immigrant story to tell about waves of Europeans, Asians and Central and South Americans who have journeyed to the Bay State over the past four centuries, seeking freedom and opportunity. Now, those powerful stories are on proud display at the new Dreams of Freedom: Boston’s Immigrant Experience, a multi-media, educational exhibition set atop the Skywalk Observatory on the 50th floor of the Prudential Tower. Taking in the sweeping vistas of Boston Harbor, Logan International Airport, Boston’s various neighborhoods and even a glimpse of New Hampshire (on a clear day), it’s easy to appreciate the immigrant odyssey as you explore the Dreams of Freedom exhibit. Earlier this month, Exhibit Curator Dr. Westy Egmont welcomed visitors to the Dreams of Freedom opening, and spoke passionately about how Boston’s greatness as a city “grows from, not despite, its role as an immigrant city.” He said the new exhibit can allow new generations of Bostonians and visitors alike to learn about and take pride in the city’s illustrious immigrant story. Egmont was joined at the rostrum by state Senator Linda Dorcena-Forry, who spoke eloquently about her parents, who emigrated from Haiti to Dorchester; and by Pat Moscaritolo, head of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, who spoke proudly of his Italian father who raised his family in East Boston, running a family restaurant well into his 80s. The exhibit itself is emotionally powerful, with displays of suitcases and trunks, passports, letters-home and family keepsakes too important to leave behind. And it is historically accurate, thanks to Dr. Kristen A. Petersen, whose research blends together individual stories with ethnic and racial migrations, set against a timeline of US Immigration laws from the 18th century to the present. Officials believe the exhibit will attract visitors from around the world and also be of interest to educators, tour groups and local immigrant organizations. President John F. Kennedy, a native son whose great grandparents emigrated from Ireland in the 1840s, often noted that America is a nation of immigrants. In a similar spirit, Dreams of Freedom proudly shows how Boston and Massachusetts were shaped and made richer by its immigrant communities. For more information about educational offerings or booking a group reservation, call (617) 859-0648 or send email.
Massachusetts Holds Tourism Workshop on Emerging Asia Markets
(Map Courtesy of Massport) In the 1990s, business forecasters predicted that tourism/hospitality would become the number one service industry of the 21st century. That prediction has come true, and today’s travel market continues to expand rapidly thanks to new technology, larger aircraft and more leisure time, plus the emergence of millions of new travelers from countries like China, India, Mexico and Brazil. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism recently held an all-day forum called “Focus on Asia Workshop” at the Omni Parker House in Boston. There, travel experts discussed the market profiles of Japan, India and China, three countries that are central to the development of the state’s tourism industry. Tom Glynn, CEO of Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), gave an overview of his agency’s work over the past two years to bring new international air routes to Boston’s Logan International Airport. Between 2012 and 2014, Massport introduced new direct air routes between Boston and Tokyo, Panama, Dubai, Istanbul and Beijing, and in 2015 is adding Hong Kong, Tel Aviv, Mexico City, Port-au-Prince and Shanghai. Part of the attraction, Glynn said, has to do with an international affinity for Massachusetts schools and medical and research institutions, and its innovation economy. In 2014, there were 51,240 international students in Massachusetts, including 15,423 from China. Betsy Wall, Director of MOTT, noted that Massachusetts has many assets of interest to these travelers, including shopping, natural beauty and outdoor amenities, lobster and other seafood, affordability and easy in getting around. Tourism is the third largest employer in Massachusetts, supporting 126,000 jobs. In 2013, visitors spent nearly $17 billion in direct spending. Among the other speakers at the forum: Jackie Ennis, International Marketing, MOTT; Shoko Hirao, Global Consulting, MOTT Japan; Mariko Brothers, Japan Airlines; Jason Pacheco, BRIC Marketing Group; Bowen Gao, Sunshine Travel; Steve Gent; Travel Payments Direct; Elizabeth Carey, Attract China; and Yvette Fang, Red & Blue International. Massport currently has 75 domestic and 44 international destinations served nonstop from Logan Airport, according to Yil Surehan, Director of Airline Route Development at Massport. Find out more about traveling to Massachusetts at MassVacation.com.
Massport Announces Boston-Shanghai Direct Route on Hainan Airlines
The Silk Road between Massachusetts and China is becoming more widely traveled, as officials unveiled a new direct route air service between Boston and Shanghai on Hainan Airlines. The service begins on June 20, 2015, a year to the day that Hainan launched its Boston-Beijing direct route. Officials said the fledgling Boston-Beijing route was so successful that an expansion to Shanghai made sense. The announcement was made on Wednesday, February 18 at the Massachusetts State House, where Governor Charlie Baker joined Pubin Liang, managing director of Hainan Airways for North America, Thomas P. Glynn, CEO and President of Massport and other public officials and business leaders. In a news release, Governor Baker said the initiative to expand international flights out of Boston’s Logan International Airport “enables Massachusetts to engage with the rest of the world. To be world class you need to be connected with the world and Massachusetts is world class. ‘’ Liang called Shanghai “an important commercial city,” noting that “expanding trade between New England and China has grown this market exponentially, enhanced by the new reciprocal ten year visas between the two countries recently put into place.” Glynn said the new route “speaks volumes about the great success Hainan has had in Boston since starting nonstop service to Beijing last June. ’’ He praised “the business community and Massport’s Asia Task Force for their support in making Hainan’s Boston venture such a success.’’ Kristen Rupert, executive director of Associated Industries of Massachusetts, told the gathering that for her 5,000 members, comprised of both service and manufacturing companies, “It really makes a difference to meet your prospects and your clients face-to-face” and that the Boston-Shanghai direct route was atop the wish list of AIM members. Service to Shanghai Pudong Airport will start on June 20, 2015 with two-class Boeing 787 Dreamliners three days a week, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with afternoon times. The flight from Pudong to Boston’s Logan Airport leaves in the morning, also on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The plane holds 222 passengers, including 34 business class seats. Connections with Hainan’s airline partners, including JetBlue in its Boston hub, allow travelers to connect to and from the new service from points throughout the U.S. and Canada. The new Boston-Shanghai route complements Hainan’s existing nonstop Boston-Beijing service, which will increase to daily flights on May 1, 2015. In 2013, international travel in Massachusetts increased by 12%, totaling over two million foreign visitors, according to the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. In addition to the Shanghai, Logan Airport is starting new international routes to Port-au-Prince, Hong Kong, Mexico City and Tel Aviv in 2015.
Seasonal direct flights between Boston & Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Starting in June
Caption: Gifrants, Haitian folk musician, performed at Logan Airport announcement of service to Haiti. (Photo: Courtesy of Massport) Boston’s Logan International Airport continues to expand its outreach around the world and across the nation, as Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) announced JetBlue’s new direct routes this summer to Port-au-Prince, Haiti as well as Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod and Sacramento, California. Making the announcement were Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn, David Clarke of JetBlue Airways and other officials. “The Commonwealth has always been a place where cultures have come together to prosper and the international growth of these new routes at Logan fosters this in the 21st century,” said Governor Baker, who recognized Massport and Logan Airport “for identifying new markets to expand options out of Boston.” Mayor Walsh noted that the expansion of direct flights out of Boston allows the city “to attract more tourists and more business to the City of Boston, creating stronger connections with the global community.” He added that the expansion of these flights reflects “this City’s international reputation for top notch culture, institutions, shopping, and restaurants.” Boston has the third largest Haitian-American community in the United States, so the new air service is being celebrated in both Massachusetts and Haiti, according to State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry. “The direct route from Boston to Port-au-Prince will not only help our Haitian residents maintain relationships with their families, but will support and strengthen new partnerships and business opportunities as well.” The new service to Port-au-Prince, Haiti (PAP) launches on June 17, 2015 and operates through September 5, 2015, with flights on Wednesdays and Saturdays. “More than 43,000 people traveled by air between Boston and Port-au-Prince last year and that market has grown 41% in three years,” said Glynn. “This new service will help connect the region with an important vibrant nation that was once home to many of us.” In addition to the Boston – Port-au-Prince service, JetBlue also begins seasonal, nonstop flights from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts (MVY) and Sacramento, California (SMF) this summer. Service from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard launches on June 17 and operates daily through September 7, complementing JetBlue’s existing summer seasonal service from Boston to Nantucket. The new Sacramento service launches on June 18 and operates four times a week on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. Haiti marks Logan’s 43rd international destination, part of a concerted effort to expand Massachusetts’ profile as a global destination for tourism, commerce and education. In 2013, international travel in Massachusetts increased by 12%, totaling over two million foreign visitors, according to the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. In addition to the Haiti connection, Logan Airport is starting new international routes to Hong Kong, Mexico City, Mexico and Tel Aviv, Israel in 2015. Find out more about Boston’s Haitian community by reading the Boston Haitian Reporter.
Massachusetts Senate Conducting “Commonwealth Conversations” in February & March
The Massachusetts Senate has launched a state wide listening tour called Commonwealth Conversations, a series of grassroots forums designed to connect state legislators directly with constituents to hear their ideas, concerns and suggestions. The series kicked off on February 4, 2015 in Western Massachusetts, and continues on Wednesday, February 11 with a public forum in Central Massachusetts being held at 6:30 p.m. at the UMass Medical School – Aaron Lazare Medical Research Building in Worchester. Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg noted recently that “the best ideas are often found not within these halls but in our neighborhoods and our coffee shops, in our board rooms and union halls, in our office break rooms and at our family tables.” In a video announcing the Commonwealth Conversations, Senate President Rosenberg was joined by Senator Bruce E. Tarr, Minority Leader of the MA Senate, and Senator Michael. J. Rodrigues, Chair of the Commonwealth Conversations. Senator Tarr said, “These forums are part of an effort to make your government even more accessible and responsive to you. State Senators from around the Commonwealth will be listening to what you have to say, and working hard to make sure they carry your voices and your ideas back to Beacon Hill.” “So that’s where your Senators will be over the next few weeks,” Rosenberg continued, “listening to your ideas, and following up on our promise of shared leadership with the people of the Commonwealth.” Here is a schedule of the upcoming forums: February 23 / North Shore February 25 / South Shore March 2 / Metro West March 4 / Metro Boston March 11 / South Coast March 18 / Southeast For more information, visit Commonwealth Conversations web site, and follow on Twitter #MAConvos.
US Census Bureau Contrasts Boston & Seattle Statistics leading up to Super Bowl XLIX
In anticipation of of Super Bowl XLIX being played on Sunday, February 1, 2015, between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, the US Census Bureau has put together some interesting facts, statistics and demographics of metro Boston and metro Seattle, as well as Phoenix, where the game is being played. Below is the Boston portion of the statistics. Find the full comparison between the cities here. 10th Where Boston ranked on the list of the nation’s most populous metropolitan areas. The estimated population of the Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H., metro area on July 1, 2013, was 4,684,299. The Boston metro area gained 42,204 people from July 1, 2012, to July 1, 2013. At the time of the Patriots’ first season in 1960, the 1960 Census population for the city of Boston was 697,197. Source: Census Population Estimates and Decennial Census 44.8% Percentage of Boston metro area residents 25 and older who had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2013; 91.2 percent had at least graduated from high school. The respective national figures were 29.6 percent and 86.6 percent. Source: 2013 American Community Survey 23.4% Percentage of Boston metro area residents 5 and older who spoke a language other than English at home. The national average was 20.8 percent. Source: 2013 American Community Survey $72,907 Median household income for the Boston metro area. The national median was $52,250. Source: 2013 American Community Survey $363,200 Median home value of owner-occupied homes in the Boston metro area. The national median was $173,900. Source: 2013 American Community Survey 30.0 minutes Average amount of time it took Boston metro area residents to get to work; 68.7 percent of the metro area’s workers drove to work alone, 6.9 percent carpooled and 12.8 percent took public transportation. Nationally, it took an average of 25.8 minutes to get to work. Source: 2013 American Community Survey Go to US Census Quick Facts for more statistics about Massachusetts and the other 49 states. Go Pats!
Charlie Baker Becomes Governor of Massachusetts on January 8, 2015
(Photo Courtesy of State House News) Charlie Baker was sworn into office as the 72nd Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on Thursday, January 8, 2015. Governor Baker delivered his inaugural address to the joint session of the Massachusetts state legislature at the State House in Boston. Here is the text of Governor Baker’s remarks. Karyn Polito was then sworn in as Lt. Governor of the Commonwealth. Here are Lt. Governor Polito’s remarks. Governor Baker joins an illustrious list of governors from Massachusetts that dates back to John Hancock (1789-1793). Contact the Governor’s Office here, and follow Governor Baker on twitter.
Massachusetts Convention Center Authority Meetings to Generate $610 million economic impact in 2015
The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) has a full slate of major meetings and conventions booked for 2015, which are projected to bring more than 900,000 attendees to Boston, generating 615,000 hotel room nights and $610 million in economic impact. James E. Rooney, executive director of the MCCA, says, “In 2015 we will welcome some of the world’s most important events to Boston – many of them repeat customers. Their desire to come to our convention centers and our city is a testament to our world class facilities, our top notch sales and customer service teams, and Boston’s standing as a premier convention destination.” The MCCA convention season is already underway, with the Allied Social Science Association’s Annual Meeting at the Hynes, which ran from January 2-5, followed by the “Let’s Be Great” Inaugural Celebration for Massachusetts Governor-elect Charlie Baker at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on Thursday, January 8, 2015. Events expected to generate the largest hotel room nights in 2015 include: • 49,115 American Diabetes Association (June, BCEC) • 29,900 Experimental Biology (March, BCEC) • 26,520 Heart Rhythm Society (May, BCEC) • 27,960 Leading Age (November, BCEC) • 25,080 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (April, BCEC) • 25,050 American Chemical Society (August, BCEC) • 23,265 NAFSA Association of Internal Educators (May, BCEC) • 19,280 Allied Social Science (January, Hynes) • 19,235 American College of Physicians Internal Medicine (April, BCEC) Among the major conventions returning to Boston this year are the Yankee Dental Congress with 26,700 attendees (January 29-31) and New England Grows with 16,000 attendees (February 4-6). BCEC will again host popular public events such as the New England International Auto Show (January 15-19), the Boston RV & Camping Expo (January 17-19), and the New England Boat Show (February 14-22). Other notable events in 2015 include the New England Region Volleyball Association’s Pre-Qualifier in March, which will transform the BCEC’s exhibit halls into nearly 20 regulation-sized volleyball courts; the return of PAX East Expo in March, the largest video gaming conference in New England; and the International Association of Convention Centre’s (AIPC) Annual Conference and General Assembly at the Hynes in July. AIPC is the industry association for professional convention and exhibition center managers worldwide. “We have a busy year with much hard work ahead of us,” says Rooney. “We will be focused on executing exceptional events for our customers, and working simultaneously on our expansion and hotel development efforts in the South Boston Waterfront. It’s an exciting time for the MCCA, and we look forward to sharing more successes throughout the next year and for many years to come.”
Massachusetts – the Home of First Night
(Photo Courtesy of First Night Boston) Massachusetts boasts a lot of firsts in its illustrious history, and celebrating First Night each New Year’s Eve is one of them. First Night Boston is officially the world’s first First Night. Launched on Boston Common on December 31, 1976, it featured costumed performers with fancy head-dresses, pet shows and square dancing, as well as a Senegalese 20-man dancing dragon, gospel singers and a musical opera based on the Grimm fairy tales. Organized by local arts advocate Clara Wainwright, along with the Mayor’s Office in Boston, the MBTA, and others, First Night was actually inspired by the Fourth of July celebrations that took place in 1976 for the nation’s bicentennial. Since then, the First Night model has spread to over 200 other cities and towns around the world, including several long-standing celebrations in Massachusetts. Here are First Night celebrations happening right now, along with a suggested highlight for each: Beverly - Grand Procession Parade Chatham –Sandcastles Nantucket – Festival of Trees New Bedford – Toe Jam Puppet Band Northampton – Raising of the Ball Rockport – Jazz, Celtic, Classical Music Sandwich – Bio-Luminescence green-theme parade Worcester – Multicultural Festival Now in its 39th year, First Night Boston, continues the fine traditions of the original organizers, which was to connect Bostonians with “many of the traditional ways New Year’s Eve is celebrated in the cultures from which it originated,” while creating a “positive spirit in a broad-based, joyous, annual celebration.” You can purchase a button to help support the event and get into special performances. This year’s First Night Boston schedule begins at 9:30 a.m. with a full day of cultural activities, artist displays, children’s parade and hundreds of workshops, performances, and special events. It ends with a fireworks display taking place in the skies over Boston Harbor at midnight. First Night is a wonderful way for communities to come together, and it is also good for tourism, small business and for the creative economy in Massachusetts. Up to one million people are expected to attend Boston’s First Night, and thousands more at the other celebrations. To find out more about visiting Massachusetts any time of year, go to MassVacation.com.
BOSTON’S 2024 OLYMPIC BID HIGHLIGHTS SPIRIT OF MASSACHUSETTS
Boston is going for the gold. Early next month, the US Olympic Committee (USOC) is expected to name the American city that will compete on the international stage for the 2024 Olympic Games. Boston is one of the four finalists, along with Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, DC. Earlier this month, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and the Boston 2024 delegation presented its proposal to the USOC, and came away confident of Boston’s chances. “One of the things they look for is legacy and sustainability of a city. Really we’re in very strong shape as far as the future of the city,” Mayor Walsh said. The quest to submit an Olympic bid got underway in October 2013 when Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill submitted by state Senator Eileen Donoghue of Lowell to create a Special Commission that would explore the feasibility and cost of this massive undertaking. The 11-member commission vetted the key issues of cost, infrastructure, transportation, security needs, and local support, and in February 2014 came back with an affirmative decision. Mindful of the enormous amount of resources and collaboration needed and the complexity of hosting the games, the Special Commission embraced the challenges “as an opportunity to leverage an Olympics to catalyze and accelerate the economic development and infrastructure improvements necessary to ensure that Massachusetts can compete globally now and into the future.” In addition to garnering the resources, planning and collective willpower needed to carry out an Olympic event, Massachusetts can also accentuate its illustrious tradition of pride in its sports and top athletes. Massachusetts’ connection to the Olympics dates back to 1896, when the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece. At that event, nine of the fourteen American athletes were from Boston, and 13 of the 20 medals awarded to the USA went to Boston athletes. The following year, in 1897, the Boston Athletic Association launched the first amateur marathon race, which has since spawned hundreds of marathons across the world. The Boston Marathon remains one of the world’s most prestigious races, with over 35,000 runners participating in 2014, resulting in a $175 million economic impact, according to the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. In professional sports, Boston has rightly been called the City of Champions, with the Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins and New England Patriots winning a combined eight championship titles since 2000. Basketball and Volleyball were both invented in Massachusetts, according to the Massachusetts Sports Office, which plays a supportive role in bidding on major sporting events like the 2014 Winter Olympic US Figure Skating Championships last winter, and a variety of NCAA sporting events in collegiate sports. Massachusetts is already an international destination, thanks to its world class innovation economy, academic institutions, medical facilities, and rich cultural and natural landscapes. Tourism is the third largest employer in Massachusetts with 128,000 jobs and $16.9 billion in direct spending, according to Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. And Massport’s steady expansion of international air routes at Boston’s Logan International Airport continues to serve as the gateway to New England, with 76 domestic and 42 international destinations, handling over 30 million passengers each year. So best wishes to Boston 2024 as it seeks to bring the Olympics home to Massachusetts in 2024.
Invention, Innovation & Imagination: JFK’s Space Program Exhibit at Logan Airport
(Photo courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum) John F. Kennedy continues to inspire. The 35th president of the United States (1961-63) was a proud native son of Massachusetts whose leadership, vision and courage continue to inspire the nation and the world. The U.S. Space Program was one of President Kennedy’s most lasting initiatives and is the focus of a new exhibit aptly titled, “Invention, Innovation and Imagination.” The multimedia installation, a joint collaboration between the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum and the Massachusetts Port Authority, is located at Terminal A at Boston’s Logan International Airport. For history lovers, the exhibit brings to bear the cold war era of the 1960s, when the United States and the Soviet Union were vying to reach the moon first. On May 25, 1961, President Kennedy appealed to the Americans’ spirit of adventure, to patriotic pride, and to the cause of freedom, saying: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.” The wall graphics celebrate the innovation economy in New England by highlighting numerous innovations that resulted from the U.S. Space Program. One of the compelling elements is an audio of President Kennedy’s famous speech challenging the nation to put a man on the moon before the end of the 1960s. Heather Campion, CEO of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, said, “Not only did his challenge to Americans and stewardship of the Space Program land a man on the moon in just eight years, but it resulted in several significant scientific advancements that are staples to us today, including GPS, protective firefighting gear and our ability to harness solar energy.” Thomas P. Glynn, CEO of Massport, said the exhibit is part of the airport’s public art program “aimed at stimulating passengers and providing a sense of place. This exhibit reminds us how President Kennedy motivated the nation to push the limits of science and technology. That motivation has continued ever since with great results here in Massachusetts.” This installation is first piece in three-phase collaboration between JFK Library Foundation and Logan Airport. Plans for future installations include visuals designed to encourage children to pursue science and volunteerism, and an installation highlighting President Kennedy’s call for global citizenship. Located in East Boston, Logan Airport is the region’s largest transportation center, generating $7 billion in economic activity each year. The JFK Library & Museum is located at Columbia Point in Dorchester preserves and provides access to historical materials related to President Kennedy and his times. For more about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.
New Walden Pond Visitor Center Would Inspire Even Thoreau
(Photograph courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism) By Jack Murray Henry David Thoreau’s famous sojourn on the shores of Walden Pond in the 1840s inspired awareness of America’s precious natural resources and marked the birth of the conservation movement. Now a National Historic Landmark, the pond and its surrounding woods continue to foster in visitors a deep connection with nature and a sense of responsibility to protect it. Today the 335 acre Walden Pond State Reservation annually attracts 500,000 people from all over the world, who journey here not just for recreation but for inspiration. Those visitors will soon have another amenity to enjoy. Earlier this month, Governor Deval Patrick joined community leaders, other public officials, environmentalists and project partners to break ground on the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s new $8 million Walden Pond Visitor Center, designed to incorporate a wide-range of sustainable materials and technologies. The center is slated to be a Zero Net Energy Building (ZNEB), or a building designed to produce as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year. To accomplish this, the 5,600 square foot building will deploy various energy reduction strategies and innovative technologies, including extensive wall and attic insulation, high efficiency windows, LED lighting, a solar domestic hot water system, cold climate air source heat pumps and a 100 kW solar PV canopy over two of its parking lots. The canopy is projected to produce over 115,000 kWh each year, more than enough to offset the building’s estimated 79,000 kWh of annual demand. Additional sustainability design elements include natural cross-ventilation, recycled building materials, low and no VOC paints and finishes, and the use of locally manufactured and sourced wood materials for exterior siding, decking, framing and flooring. Governor Patrick said it is fitting that the new center is being built with energy-efficiency in mind and powered by green technology. “As the birthplace of the conservation movement, Walden Pond is an important natural landmark for the Commonwealth and nation,” he said. “These improvements are about good stewardship for this generation and the next.” DCR has received support from key partners in this project, including the Massachusetts Legislature for project funding, the Walden Advisory Board, Thoreau Society, Walden Woods Project, and Concord Municipal Light Plant, the local utility. In addition, DCR received more than $300,000 in Leading by Example and Zero Net Energy grants from the Department of Energy Resources to help make this project a reality. The new center will have an interpretive exhibit, public restrooms and a bookstore, as well as offices and meeting space for Park staff. Those who drive electric cars will have a place to charge them as they enjoy the park’s many recreational opportunities. Would Thoreau himself have approved of the new visitor center? We like to think he would have, given his belief that each town should have a park that serves as “a common possession forever, for instruction and recreation” and that people “can never have enough of nature.” By enhancing the visitor experience without putting additional pressure on the beloved park, the Center serves as a model for sustainable development, one that will continue to inspire for generations to come. (This story originally appeared on Massachusetts Energy Smarts blog. Follow MaEnergySmarts on Twitter)
Bienvenidos a Massachusetts
Mexico and Massachusetts – already strong partners in commerce, culture and educational exchange – have just become even closer, thanks to the announcement last week of the new Aeromexico non-stop route between Boston and Mexico City. Starting in June 2015, Aeromexico will fly six times a week between Boston’s Logan International Airport and Mexico City’s Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juarez, on every day of the week except Tuesday. The economic impact for Massachusetts is estimated at $49 million each year. The announcement of the new service was made last Thursday, December 4, at Terminal E at Logan International Airport by state and local officials from Massachusetts and Mexico. Governor Deval Patrick, who led an innovation mission to Mexico in March 2014 that helped solidify the new air route, said “Nonstop service to Mexico City will open up new opportunities for Massachusetts businesses to compete in the 21st century global marketplace. The service will increase tourism here at home while connecting our residents and businesses with the emerging opportunities in Mexico.” Currently, about 50,000 travelers fly between the two cities each year, but the non-stop route will expand that considerably. Aeromexico will fly the route using Boeing 737-700 aircraft with 124 seats, including 12 business and 112 coach. Aeromexico CEO Andres Conesa said this is the airline’s 16th destination in the USA, adding that “Boston is a major city for Mexico and Latin America, being one of the cities with greater economic potential in the world and a wide academic offering, which many students from Mexico and South America access every year.” Ambassador Daniel Hernandez Joseph, Consul General of Mexico in Boston, said the new route “is sure to further boost trade, investment, joint ventures, academic exchange and research between Mexico and not only Boston, but all of New England.” During the trade mission to Mexico and Panama last spring, the Massachusetts delegation met with leaders in clean energy, big data, life sciences and transportation sectors, while strengthening their connections in business, culture and education. In 2013, Massachusetts exported $1.86 billion worth of goods and services to Mexico, and imported $3.37 billion from Mexico, according to the Massachusetts Export Center. Mexico is Massachusetts’ third largest trading partner. Massport’s CEO Thomas P. Glynn said “the new service helps open new doors and new possibilities to stimulate our economy and our region.” With the new route, Boston Logan International Airport continues to serve as the gateway to the New England region, offering nonstop service to 76 domestic and 42 international destinations and handling over 30 million passengers. In the past three years, Massport has acquired new routes to Tokyo, Panama City, Dubai, Istanbul, Beijing, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv and now Mexico City. Over the past decade, the airport spent $4.5 billion on a modernization program that includes new terminals, public transportation access, parking facilities, roadways and airport concessions, and has been transformed into a world-class 21st Century facility. The airport generates $8 billion in total economic impact each year.
Massachusetts and Guangzhou, China Re-establish trade and cultural ties dating back 230 years
by Hunter Richard In August, the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI) led a delegation of economic development and cultural leaders from Massachusetts to Guangzhou, China to participate in a celebration and business forum commemorating the 230th Anniversary of the Sailing of the Empress of China. Sponsored by Oceanwide Consulting and the China Zhigong Party, the mission afforded an opportunity to promote Massachusetts as a destination for foreign investment, tour the region’s special development and biotech zones, and strengthen sister-state relations between Massachusetts and Guangdong. Participants included Richard Elam, Executive Director of MOITI, Hunter Richard, Manager of Business Development at MOITI; John Barros, Chief of Economic Development for the City of Boston; Thomas Paine, Vice President of Ager Group Inc. and an Overseer of the Massachusetts Historical Society; Robert Pierce Forbes, a trustee of the Forbes House Museum in Milton and a fifth-generation descendant of China trade Captain Robert Bennet Forbes; and Sherry Dong, President of the Chinese Historical Society of New England. Massachusetts played an important role in Guangzhou’s rise as a major destination for American merchants following the Revolutionary War. On February 22, 1784, the Boston-built Empress of China departed New York and began a 188 day voyage around the world carrying 10,000 pounds of Virginia-grown Ginseng root, Spanish silver dollars, and a 42-man crew. The ship arrived in Guangzhou on August 28, 1784 and established trade and diplomatic relations between the Chinese Empire and the newly formed United States. New England merchants from the ports of Boston, Salem, and others acquired large fortunes from the China trade that flourished at the turn of the 18th century. Today, that fascinating story is highlighted by the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem and the Forbes House Museum in Milton. During the three-day mission, the delegation attended the opening of a new exhibit at the Whampoa Old Fort highlighting the Empress of China and its role in building trade and diplomatic relationship between Guangzhou and the United States. The delegation also toured several historical sites of the city, the Zhujiang New Town development zone, and Guangzhou’s biotech island. After visiting several local companies, members of the delegation discussed the benefits of doing business in Massachusetts in a forum that brought together over 100 local business leaders and investors. Most notable, John Barros and the Mayor of Guangzhou, Chen Jianhua, signed an agreement to boost business and cultural ties between the two cities. MOITI also presented a proclamation signed by the Massachusetts Legislature designating August 28th, 2014 as “Guangzhou, Guangdong – Boston, Massachusetts Day.” Guangzhou is China’s third largest city and is home to over 12 million residents. Located in the Pearl River Delta west of Hong Kong, Guangzhou is a major manufacturing hub that has embraced an ambitious plan to redevelop wide sections of the city, modernize infrastructure, and transition to an advanced economy based on services, biotech, and innovation. The port has played an important role in the China trade, serving as the port of entry for foreign commerce and diplomacy from the 1700’s through World War II. Under Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms, Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province, experienced significant economic growth and a rise of manufacturing of goods for export. In 1983, Governor Michael Dukakis and Governor Liang Lingguang of Guangdong established sister state relations. In an effort to strengthen these ties, MOITI will soon welcome a reverse delegation of business and political leaders from Guangdong in early 2015.
Massachusetts Announces New Direct Flights Between Boston & Tel Aviv on El Al Israel Airlines
Massachusetts’ global engagement strategies continued to bear fruit this week with the announcement that El Al Israel Airlines is starting nonstop service between Logan International Airport and Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport, beginning in summer 2015. Officials believe the new route will make it easier to expand opportunities between the Commonwealth and Israel for economic development and job creation in the innovation economy sectors, and to strengthen import/export, tourism and cultural ties. Governor Deval Patrick, who made the announcement at the State House, stated that “Non-stop service to Tel Aviv will open up new commercial and economic opportunities for Massachusetts and the region. This and similar service expansions are how we bolster the Commonwealth’s competitiveness.” Last year, a report by the New England-Israel Business Council underscored the impact of Israeli-founded companies on the Massachusetts economy that has grown significantly in recent years, following the Governor’s 2011 trade mission to Israel. According to that study, Israeli-founded companies in Massachusetts booked $6.2 billion in revenue in the state in 2012 and employed nearly 6,700 people. The study also found that the growth rate of Israeli companies in Massachusetts is five times that of the Massachusetts economy as a whole. El Al will use Boeing 767-300ER aircraft with 218 seats, including 22 business class seats, with three round-trips per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. El Al’s codeshare partner, JetBlue, is providing onward connections from El Al’s Boston flights to 54 destinations in the U.S. and Caribbean. The expansion of international air routes out of Logan Airport is part of the state’s global engagement strategy to build upon Massachusetts’ reputation as a center of innovation, education, medicine and economic opportunities. Since 2012, Massport has introduced new air routes between Boston and Tokyo, Panama, Dubai, Istanbul and Beijing, and in August announced a direct route between Boston and Hong Kong to begin in May 2015. “Nonstop international flights to and from Logan stimulate our economy and our region,” said Thomas P Glynn, Massport’s CEO. “This new service helps open new doors and new possibilities. Logan is truly New England’s gateway to the world.’’ As with all international flights, there are exciting new possibilities for tourism and cultural exchange between Massachusetts and Israel. “Direct flights pave the way for further strengthening of Israel- U.S. ties, both economically and culturally,” said Israel’s Consul General Yehuda Yaakov. “We look forward to seeing even more of our New England friends exploring firsthand our diverse society and rich history.” Boston Logan Airport serves as the gateway to the six New England states, offering nonstop service to 76 domestic and 41 international destinations and handling 30 + million passengers in 2013. Over the past decade, the airport spent $4.5 billion on a modernization program that includes new terminals, public transportation access, parking facilities, roadways and airport concessions, transforming itself into a world-class 21st Century facility. The airport generates $8 billion in total economic impact each year.
Governor Deval Patrick: Transition of State Government
Governor Deval Patrick unveiled his Transition of State Government initiative with a series of transition videos to help ensure a smooth passage from his administration to Governor-elect Charlie Baker. “Congratulations to the Governor-elect, Lieutenant Governor-elect and their team on winning the election,” Governor Patrick said. “Now it’s time to prepare to govern, and we hope this website will help you and all citizens understand the substance of the work of this Administration as you assume continuing responsibility for it.”
Economic Growth in Western Massachusetts
The Western Mass Business Expo, the largest business-to-business trade show in the region, took place this week at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The Expo featured over 150 exhibitors, free educational seminars and networking events that attracted over 4,000 participants, many of them business leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators. Governor Deval Patrick, guest speaker at the expo, used the occasion to take stock of the investments in education, innovation and infrastructure his Administration has made in western Massachusetts. “We are a more prosperous, more promising and more just Commonwealth for more people today than we were eight years ago,” Governor Patrick told the audience. “Massachusetts has become a global hub of innovation — in our economy, in government and throughout our society. That’s where our competitive edge lies and why our future is bright.” Among the investments to the region: Earlier this month, Governor Patrick announced a $60 million facility to be built in Springfield for the manufacturing of MBTA rail cars. It will create 150 manufacturing jobs and 100 construction jobs for the greater Springfield area. Last fall, the Governor announced a $200 million investment in Phase 1 of the I-91 Springfield Viaduct project, which will help unlock potential for additional economic and community development opportunities in the region. In May, 2013 Governor Patrick announced $5.2 million in capital funds to complete the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Center at Springfield which is comprised of 10 instructional rooms, including six regular classrooms, one computer classroom, and three nursing classrooms, a computer lab, breakout rooms, conference rooms and space for student counseling and public events and meetings. The Center offers bachelor and master-level courses geared for residents of Pioneer Valley. The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke supports research computing needs of five of the state’s most research-intensive universities: Boston University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts. In 2010, the Administration committed $25 million in funding to support the Center, coupled with $55 million in investments by academia and private partners, making it the largest investment in Holyoke in 50 years. The Green Center represents the most significant collaboration among government, industry and public and private universities in the history of the Commonwealth. See more about Holyoke here. The Patrick Administration has invested over $33 million in MassWorks funding for infrastructure projects in the Pioneer Valley since 2011, when the program formed. Recent investments include $2 million to create the Springfield Innovation Center in the Springfield Innovation District, and $4.2 million in funding to help redevelop the Union Station Regional Intermodal Transportation Center. The Patrick Administration has worked with local officials and business leaders in Pittsfield to transform the downtown area through innovative programs, creating units of market rate housing and 10 retail spaces complementing the Downtown Arts Overlay District and comprehensive streetscape program. “Governor Patrick has implemented a strategy that has made Massachusetts a leader in the global innovation economy,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. “By choosing to invest in education, innovation and infrastructure, he has positioned the Commonwealth to continue to thrive for generations to come.” To find out more about business opportunities and economic development in western Massachusetts, contact Mike Vedovelli, Senior Regional Director, Massachusetts Office of Business Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413 733-5357.
Massachusetts Tourism Leaders Gather at JFK Library for 27th Annual Governor’s Conference
(Caption: Betsy Wall moderates panel of international representatives.) Photo by Tim Grafft Over 300 tourism officials, hospitality leaders and small business owners gathered this week for the 27th Annual Governor’s Conference on Travel & Tourism, which took place at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in Boston. The annual gathering, hosted by the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT), offers industry leaders an opportunity to learn about the latest tourism trends around the nation and the world; to gauge Massachusetts’ progress and current initiatives; and to hear from experts on specific tourism topics such as sports, film and the international market. MOTT Executive Director Betsy Wall welcomed the attendees and gave an overview of the agency’s collaboration with partners like BrandUSA and Discover New England. Scott Madden of Connelly Partners spoke about MOTT’s web site, MassVacation.com and the successful social media campaign promoting the state. Guest speakers included Dan O’Connell, President of Boston 2024, who spoke about Boston’s bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games; and Mary Ann Hughes, Vice President of Film and Television Production Planning at the Walt Disney Company, who spoke with Massachusetts Film Office Director Lisa Strout about how the Commonwealth can continue to use film production to leverage tourism branding. The conference featured a lively panel discussion with MOTT’s seven international representatives who promote Massachusetts in Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom. They offered insight into what each of their respective populations look for when traveling to Massachusetts, ranging from history, weather and beaches to shopping, outdoor activities and seafood. One of the popular suggestions came from Italian representative Olga Mazzoni, who suggested that live lobsters be available for sale at Terminal E, Logan Airport, for international visitors to take home with them. In the afternoon, the conference welcomed Governor Deval Patrick, who praised the state’s tourism industry for its hard work and innovation, and spoke about the tourism impact that new international air routes bring to the Commonwealth. The governor then presented the Larry D. Meehan Award to five tourism advocates across the state: Joseph Milano of Union Oyster House in Boston; Bruce Margeson of MBT Worldwide, Mary Vilbon of Shelburne Falls Area Business Association, Bill DeSousa-Mauk of DeMa Public Relations and Paula Fisher of Plymouth County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Named for the late Larry D. Meehan of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB), the award was created in 2012 to honor individuals who have made life-long contributions to the growth and vitality of the Massachusetts tourism industry. In addition to the official proceedings, attendees were invited by Lee Statham, Director of Sales and Marketing at JFK Library, to take a free tour of the museum while there. The Omni Parker House supplied the conference with its special Boston Cream Pies, And during the day, a duo of musicians from the Berklee College of Music played jazz guitar and stand-up bass during the breakfast and lunch intervals. Tourism is one of Massachusetts’ key industries, accounting for nearly $18 billion in direct spending in 2012, $1.1 billion in state and local taxes, as well as supporting 126,500 jobs generating $3.6 billion in wages. In 2013, nearly 23 million domestic and international visitors came to Massachusetts. For more information, visit MassVacation.com.
EF Education First Opens North American Headquarters in Cambridge
(Photo Courtesy of Wilson Architects) It’s not every day that political leaders, economic development officials, tourism experts, parks advocates,and educational proponents gather to celebrate a shared enthusiasm, but such was the case this week when EF Education First officially opened its expanded North American headquarters in Cambridge. The Swedish company is a world-wide leader in educational travel and language training, with nearly 1,000 employee based in Massachusetts, and 37,000 people working in 52 countries around the world. Governor Deval Patrick, whose administration has focused on education, innovation and infrastructure as the cornerstones of economic development, told the audience he was thrilled that EF has “chosen the Commonwealth as the place for their continued expansion” in North America. The new headquarters is a public-private partnership success story. Built on land owned by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the former industrial site on the border of Cambridge and Charlestown was awarded to Education First through a competitive bidding process. The 10-floor, 125 million project consists of 230,000 square feet of office space and 31,000 square feet of public space in the company’s ground floor. It has 16 flexible workspaces on each floor, in line with the new collaborative workspace movement taking place in Massachusetts and elsewhere. The glass exterior building, designed by in-house architect Fiona Kennedy, has an open staircase inside, and features a striking glass waterfall cascading down the façade. The bottom floors house a restaurant with outdoor seating overlooking the Charles River, a bike room and Hubway bicycle station, private showers, a salon and fitness center. “Fostering this type of growth and infrastructure is evidence of how Massachusetts is a leader in economic development.” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki. As part of the project, EF has agreed to maintain and make improvements to portions of North Point Park, a public park overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. Referring to the new headquarters location, Edward Hult, CEO of EF North America, said, “With new public parks, pedestrian connectivity, and billions of dollars in development activity happening on both sides of the River, it’s clear that what was once referred to as ‘the lost ½-mile of the Charles’ has been found.” Congressman Michael Capuano, who represents Cambridge as part of the Congressional 7th District, said the new facility will increase local access to EF’s many educational programs while adding jobs to the local economy. Student travel is a $30 billion industry, according to Carylann Assante, executive director of the Student & Youth and Travel Association, who told The Boston Globe that EF is one of the largest companies in this lucrative market.
Massachusetts Celebrates Global Diaspora Week, October 12-17
How can immigrant communities in the United States work closely with their respective homelands to create entrepreneurial opportunities that benefit both places? That was the poignant theme of Global Diaspora Week (October 12-17), a national conversation organized by the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Calvert Foundation. Diaspora is from the Greek word διασπορά, and refers to the “movement, migration or scattering of a people from their ancestral homeland.” Over 70 events took place across the nation, including several in Massachusetts, which helped underscore the entrepreneurial spirit, hard work and innovative ideas prevalent in immigrant communities, according to the International Diaspora Engagement Alliance. Local Chinese leaders organized the forum, Entrepreneurship Development and Opportunities for the US Chinese Diaspora at Harvard University. Hosted by the United Cultures Innovation Center for International Cooperation (UCIC) and the Harvard US-China Economic Interaction Council (HUCEIC), the all-day conference drew over 250 entrepreneurs, business leaders, public officials, students and academics for a robust discussion and exchange of ideas. Topics included Translational Medicine in the Genomics Era, US-China Capital Market Relations and Dialogue Opportunities; and Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Education, Cultural and Tourism Industry. Organizer Xin Li said she hoped the forum would “bring the Chinese community together and let the older generation pass on their experience and wisdom to the next generation” while fostering innovation and creating social engagement. Several state and local officials participated in the conference, including Tackey Chan, State Representative; Rich Elam of the Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment (MOITI); Kathleen Newell of the Massachusetts Export Center; and Jolin Zhou of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. Local Brazilian leaders Alvaro Lima and Anselmo Cassiano organized a series of four lectures at MIT and Berklee College of Music to discuss Diggai, a new initiative that seeks to aggregate and curate the cultural products of Brazilians around the world. Leading up to Global Diaspora Week, Boston hosted its 6th annual Golden Bridges conference, welcoming a delegation of officials, entrepreneurs and tourism leaders from Northwest Ireland. Drew O’Brien, head of Global Partnerships, was a guest speaker, along with Senate President Therese Murray and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. And in September, MOITI welcomed a group from Malaysia seeking to create new business and education partnerships in the Commonwealth. Massachusetts ranks eighth in the nation for newcomers, with an immigrant population that represents over 14 percent of the population. Latino and Asian-owned businesses alone employ over 50,000 Massachusetts residents, with sales of over $7 billion. Immigrants compose nearly 20 percent of the state’s workforce. Governor Deval Patrick declared Immigrant Entrepreneurship Month, June 15 – July 15, 2014, and said, “Our immigrant communities have always been an integral part of our state’s economic and cultural fabric. I am proud to recognize the hard work of our immigrant entrepreneurs who have made Massachusetts home, and whose achievements help keep us in the leadership business.” Massachusetts wants to enable foreign-born, American- educated entrepreneurs to remain in the country after they graduate. The new economic development bill, An Act to Promote Growth and Opportunity, calls for the creation of a Global Entrepreneur in Residence Program to retain and attract entrepreneurs who are growing companies and creating jobs in the state. Administered by the Mass Tech Collaborative, the program will place selected students – who are eligible for H-1B visas but unable to get them due to a federal cap – as “entrepreneurs in residence” at public and private institutions and will ensure that they continue to contribute to the Massachusetts economy. For more about the international investment opportunities in the Commonwealth, visit Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment.
Massachusetts Celebrates Advanced Manufacturing Week, September 29-October 3, 2014
Caption: top left: UFP Technologies; top right: MassMEP; bottom right: Office of Governor Patrick; bottom left: NECCO Factory Governor Deval Patrick today proclaimed September 29, 2014 to October 3, 2014 as Advanced Manufacturing Week in Massachusetts, underscoring the Administration’s support of the robust advanced manufacturing industry and its workforce throughout the Commonwealth. The week-long celebration coincides with national efforts to promote the role advanced manufacturing plays in the economy, with the third annual National Advanced Manufacturing Day being celebrated on October 3. “The Commonwealth is a national leader in Advanced Manufacturing, and we want to keep it that way,” said Governor Patrick. “By working with our partners in industry and academia, we are continuing to enhance the competitiveness of our robust advanced manufacturing industry, for today and the future.” Massachusetts is home to over 7,000 manufacturers with 250,000 employees. Throughout the week, Patrick Administration officials will participate in events that highlight the statewide effort to promote careers in advanced manufacturing and build awareness among manufacturers about the many programs in place to support them. “Investment in advanced manufacturing and clean technology spurs growth, creates high-quality jobs and benefits Massachusetts’s high-tech economy,” said Senator Edward J. Markey. “We must continue to grow our innovation economy by investing in new and emerging technologies that are creating the jobs and industries of the future today. I applaud Governor Patrick’s leadership making Massachusetts a national hub of innovation and applaud all of the companies, programs and initiatives that we will celebrate during Advanced Manufacturing Week.” “From Lowell to Springfield to Fall River, the Commonwealth’s proud history of manufacturing is driving its economic future,” said Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III. “Across Massachusetts, our manufacturing sector is creating jobs, spurring innovation and expanding access to opportunity. I commend Governor Patrick and Secretary Bialecki for their leadership, and look forward to working together to continue to promote growth throughout the state.” The Patrick Administration is committed to supporting the growth of advanced manufacturing in Massachusetts, an industry that is expected to require 100,000 jobs in the next decade and offers careers in a sector with an average annual salary of $75,000. The week’s celebration builds on record investments in workforce training and education made by the Administration in recent years. In 2011, Governor Patrick launched the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative (AMC), a partnership between industry and government to help build a globally competitive manufacturing industry in Massachusetts. Its five-point agenda brings together manufacturers, educators, academia, and other organizations to work on industry-identified priorities including promoting manufacturing; workforce and education; manufacturing innovation; the cost of doing business including energy management and sustainability; and access to capital resources. The AMC’s AMP it Up! Program which launched in September 2012 and is operated by MassDevelopment, works to build awareness among young adults and their families on the opportunities for well-paying careers in manufacturing. Massachusetts-based nonprofit organizations that address education and workforce can apply for funding at www.ampitup.com. Across the Commonwealth in recognition of manufacturing week, the AMC engage manufacturers, schools and colleges to participate in open houses, public tours, roundtable discussions, career workshops and other events hosted by manufacturers. “Massachusetts is on the cutting-edge among states in supporting the growth of 21st century manufacturing,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. “Together with our regional partners, we are ensuring the next generation is equipped with the skills and knowledge needed for careers in advanced manufacturing.” In June 2013, Governor Patrick announced the creation of the Advanced Manufacturing Regional Partnership Academy, a first-in-the-Nation program designed to meet the manufacturing industry’s future workforce needs. The Academy provides hands-on learning opportunities, and tool and peer-education to regional leaders, helping eliminate one of the industry’s chief concerns of finding well-trained employees to fill available jobs in manufacturing. Last month, Governor Patrick signed an economic development package that included $12 million for the establishment of the Middle Skills Job Training Grant Fund. The fund will provide grants to vocational-technical schools and community college to support advanced manufacturing, mechanical and technical skills, hospitality and information technology industries training. The fund aims to train 4,000 workers over the next four years to address the workforce and talent pipeline needs of employers in Massachusetts. “Domestic manufacturing is critical to building our economy nationally and locally,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. “Massachusetts is a leader in innovation thanks to the unique ecosystem created by partnerships between our academic, business and government resources. Governor Patrick’s efforts to support manufacturing complement the ‘Make it in America’ campaign I have long advocated for in Congress. Smart policies can complement the hard work of local businesses to continue creating advanced manufacturing jobs here in Massachusetts, as well as to provide individuals with the skills they need to fulfill those jobs.” “I am proud that we are committed to supporting manufacturing through the Commonwealth’s vocational-technical high schools, realizing this is an essential area to advance our workforce for the future,” said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. “We are making strategic investments so that our students graduate highly skilled and prepared to compete in the manufacturing industry.” “Jobs in advanced manufacturing help the Commonwealth build upon its competitive advantages of a diverse economy and highly educated workforce,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rachel Kaprielian. “The record investments the Patrick Administration has made in workforce development and skills training in this new sector will create opportunities for generations of workers to come.” “Massachusetts is where America’s Industrial Revolution began 200 years ago. We’re now witnessing a new revolution led by advanced manufacturing leaders such as robotics, fiber optics, laser, and solar energy,” noted Senator Richard T. Moore, Senate Chair of the Legislature’s Manufacturing Caucus. “Manufacturing in the Commonwealth accounts for more than 10 percent of the GSP and encompasses a wide range of industries,” said Representative John V. Fernandes (D-Milford) founder and House Chair of the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus and AMC Board member. “In addition, these manufacturers are constantly generating innovative solutions to challenges, fueling growth not just in the manufacturing sector, but in many other sectors of our economy. I am consistently impressed by the members of this this important and vibrant industry. “ “For too long, Massachusetts took its manufacturers for granted,” said Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative Co-Chair Mitch Tyson, Principal, Tyson Associates. “Thanks to the efforts of the AMC and the manufacturers that it represents, events will take place throughout the Commonwealth on this National Manufacturing Day to showcase top-notch companies, highly-skilled workforces, and cutting-edge offerings. I especially hope that students will participate in National Manufacturing Day and learn about exciting careers in this thriving industry.” “Over the last three years, the Commonwealth and the private sector have worked together in an unprecedented partnership to insure that advanced manufacturing in Massachusetts gets the attention that a sector of its import deserves,” said Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative Co-Chair Ed Leyden, Owner, Ben Franklin Design and Manufacturing Inc. “The AMC has held high-profile public events and produced tangible resources that increase the prospects that advanced manufacturers will continue to thrive by selling their highly-engineered, world-leading products.”
Welcome to the Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts
Why do over one million visitors attend the Big E each year? Some people go to see the livestock, while others seek out the live music. The open air, carnival atmosphere is a big draw, and so is the chance to meet local artists and craftsmen from throughout New England. And everyone come for the food! No matter what the reason, the 17-day event, held on the 175 acre grounds of the Eastern States Exposition Center, is one of the premier events in all of New England. This year it runs through Sunday, September 28, 2014, and if you haven’t been, this is the time to go. The Big E was launched back in 1917 as a showcase for the farms and agricultural industries of the eastern states, particularly New England. Over time the Big E came to feature “the most innovative commercial, industrial and artistic developments,” as well as live music, family activities and other forms of entertainment. On Massachusetts Day, held on September 18, over 63,000 people came through the Massachusetts building, according to Steve Walsh, visitor services manager for the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. 45,000 brochures were distributed on Mass Day alone, and thirty-six vendors from across the state were on hand to share their goods. Massachusetts vendors ranged from Pittsfield Rye & Specialty Breads and Kringle Candle Company to Amy’s All Natural Soap and Thorndike Mills. And other popular booths were the Hampden County Beekeepers Society and the National Park Service in Massachusetts. A big draw was the exhibit of film posters from the Massachusetts Film Office, which displayed posters of some of the hit films made in Massachusetts, along with a video by Tim Grafft of the Film Office, showing some of the beautiful locations throughout the Commonwealth. The Big E generates significant tourism in Greater Springfield each September. Last Saturday, 170,612 visitors came to the fairgrounds, breaking a record that dates back to 1980. So far this year, over 705,000 people have attended the Big E, and with a week to go, the attendance is expected to approach last year’s record turnout of 1.5 million visitors. For more information about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.
Assembly Row is the New Orange
(Caption: Artists Rendering of Assembly Row) The Assembly Station train stop along the MBTA Orange Line opened this week in Somerville, and the excitement was palatable among commuters as well as business owners and state and local officials. For one thing, it was the first new station added by the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) in twenty-seven years; the daily projected ridership at Assembly is expected to be up to 5,400 passengers by 2030. But more so, the new train stop is a harbinger of great things to come for the $1.4 billion Assembly Row project, which is part of an exciting strategy by public officials to create unique new communities where residents have easy access to transportation, jobs, housing, and recreational and entertainment opportunities. The development will include more than 2.8 million square feet of office space, 635,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment uses, and 1,813 homes. It will feature public benefits like a waterfront park and new bike and pedestrian paths connecting existing neighborhoods with the new development. The first phase, with 448 apartments, scores of retail shops and restaurants and more, is already open. “We invest in infrastructure to catalyze private development, revitalize urban neighborhoods and bolster growth and opportunity across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Deval Patrick, who visited the new station on September 2, opening day. “The new Assembly Orange Line station is a concrete reminder of what can be achieved through public-private partnership and investment in our communities.” Governor Patrick was joined at the opening by U.S. Congressman Michael Capuano, who helped secure federal funds for the station, Mass DOT Secretary and CEO Richard Davey, MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott, Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and other local officials. The new Assembly station is funded through a combination of federal, state and private investment. The total cost of the station is $56 million with the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development (EOHED) contributing $25 million through a MassWorks grant, $16 million in federal funds and a $15 million investment from Federal Realty Investment Trust, the developers of the Assembly Row project. EOHED Secretary Greg Bialecki noted that “Assembly Row is an excellent example of a well-rounded development project that aligns our jobs, housing and transportation needs to better serve our residents. Through these types of collaborative efforts we are making our communities great places to live, work and play.” To learn more about the Patrick Administration’s strategy for economic growth through investments in innovation, infrastructure and education, go to Choosing to Compete in the 21st Century.
United Airlines’ Hemispheres Magazine Features Massachusetts
Check out the September 2014 issue of Hemispheres Magazine, the in-flight magazine of United Airlines. There is a 15 page spread devoted to Massachusetts in its Dossier series, which features an “in-depth overview of a region, including the unique initiatives that shape its industry and commerce as well as its influence on today’s global economy.” Both Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh are profiled in the issue. The supplement describes Massachusetts as “one of America’s favorite places to do business,” and says that Governor Patrick “leaves a state that ranks among the leaders in everything from student achievement to economic competitiveness and entrepreneurial activity.” A number of state officials are cited in the publication, including Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development; Susan Windham-Bannister, President & CEO of Massachusetts Life Sciences, James Rooney, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority; Thomas Glynn, CEO of Massport, and Robert Caret, President of the University of Massachusetts. Among the Massachusetts companies featured are the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, Raytheon Company and Partners Healthcare. In April 2014, United Airlines opened a new concourse at Terminal B at Boston’s Logan International Airport. Governor Patrick said at the time, “With increased customer service and convenience, United’s presence in Terminal B will continue to make Boston a top destination for domestic and international travel.”
Museums Showcase Massachusetts’ Cultural and Historical Richness
(Caption: A Model of the Whaler ‘Lagoda‘. Photo Courtesy of the New Bedford Whaling Museum.) by Kennedy Stomps From the heights of the Berkshires to the tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts is a museum lover’s haven, offering an inspiring array of museums that reflect the state’s cultural richness and diversity. They range from world renowned museums like the Museum of Fine Arts, Harvard Museum of Natural History and Mass MoCA, to local favorites like the Fuller Craft Museum, Museum of Russian Icons, and the Fruitlands Museum, and even the downright quirky—like the Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History, the Plumbing Museum and the Edward Gorey House. The Commonwealth’s commitment to the cultural arts is a longstanding tradition. In the Massachusetts Constitution, John Adams writes that it “shall be the duty of legislatures…in all future periods of this commonwealth, to cherish the interests of literature and the sciences…[and] to encourage private societies and public institutions.” Today, the more-than 500 museums in Massachusetts contribute millions of dollars to local and state economies, and provide hundreds of jobs in their respective regions, while contributing to the state’s creative economy and tourism industry. Overall, cultural institutions attract 14 million visitors to the state each year, generating a total annual economic impact of over $3.4 billion. Visitors can go inside Norman Rockwell’s studio, explore the country’s largest collection of textiles and tools and take in works by Monet, Degas and Renoir here in Massachusetts. And with museums featuring collections of Japanese Samurai armor, Asian and African art and Greek and Roman sculpture, you don’t need a passport to see some of the finest art from around the world. Those interested in the rich history of the Commonwealth can step aboard the Mayflower II or into a 17th century English town, meet the organizers of the Boston Tea Party, learn about whaling and the maritime tradition and experience life in a historic Shaker village. Sports fans will definitely want to take a “time out” to visit the Naismith Basketball Museum, Volleyball Hall of Fame, Golf Museum and TD Gardens Sports Museum. Finally, a trip to Massachusetts wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of the state’s many Presidential sites. Visitors can check out the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Adams National Historic Park, the John F. Kennedy Birthplace, the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum. In September, the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism is presenting an exhibit of Massachusetts museums at the Newton Free Library. The display will be located in the main Atrium of the library which is located at 330 Homer St. in Newton Center. The library is open Monday-Thursday 9:00 am-9:00 pm, Friday 9:00 am-6:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 am -5:00 pm and the display is free and open to the public, so stop by!
Massachusetts Announces Cathay Pacific Airways Nonstop flights between Boston-Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Airways, recently voted the world’s best airlines, is launching a non-stop service between Boston and Hong Kong to commence in May, 2015. State officials from Massport and the Patrick Administration announced the good news at a ceremony at the Massachusetts State House today. The air service will include four weekly flights between Boston’s Logan International Airport and Hong Kong International Airport. “The doors of Massachusetts are open to the world, and we are eager both to strengthen existing global relationships and to build new ones,” said Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick in a statement. “This new service will allow us to continue to expand on these efforts and more easily connect and collaborate with innovators, inventors and investors in the Asian market. I thank Cathay Pacific and Massport for their leadership and partnership.” Cathay Pacific Senior Vice President, Americas, Tom Owen said the new service will connect New England “with numerous Asian cities, including over 22 destinations in Mainland China, as well as key economic and tourism hubs throughout Southeast Asia, such as Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Bali, and Hanoi.” Also, Australian Business Traveler reported that the new route “will give Perth and Adelaide residents a new one-stop option to the USA east coast.” In addition to tourists, students and business travelers, Owens added there is also “an opportunity for increased freight from New England to Asia, due to the Boeing 777-300ER belly capacity, and connectivity through our new Cargo Terminal in Hong Kong to Cathay’s extensive Asian freighter network.” Massport CEO Tom Glynn noted that today’s announcement “recognizes the flourishing business opportunities that exist throughout New England. And with now 40 nonstop international destinations, Boston is an even more important player in the global economy.” The Cathay Pacific route marks the 12th international nonstop service added since Governor Patrick took office in 2007. Since July 2013, four new nonstop flights have been added, between Logan Airport and Panama City, Dubai, Istanbul and Beijing. With 74 nonstop domestic and 40 international destinations, Boston’s Logan Airport is a key economic engine for the region, contributing more than more than $8 billion annually, and enhancing and enabling economic growth and vitality throughout New England. Others who spoke at today’s ceremony included Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development, who noted potential benefits for the state’s tourism industry and innovation economy; Richard Davey, Secretary of Massachusetts Department of Transportation; and Paul Guzzi, President & CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Find about more about visiting Massachusetts at MassVacation.com.
Cape Cod National Seashore – A Massachusetts Treasure
(Caption: Coast Guard Beach in Eastham, Photo by Margo Tabb) Magical, dramatic, inspiring and perfect are just some of the words Trip Advisor visitors use to describe the Cape Cod National Seashore. But words cannot do justice to this unique and diverse natural resource – the Cape Cod National Seashore is a place you must experience for yourself. In 2013, more than 4.5 million visitors journeyed here to enjoy the beaches, marshes, ponds stretching across 43,607 acres on the Outer Cape, a testament to the natural beauty that beckons visitors from around the world. Run by the National Park Service, the sprawling park includes “40 miles of pristine sandy beach, marshes, ponds and uplands (that) support diverse species. Lighthouses, cultural landscapes, and wild cranberry bogs offer a glimpse of Cape Cod’s past and continuing ways of life. Swimming beaches and walking and biking trails beckon today’s visitors.” Among the treasures of the park: - Six beaches, which offer a variety of recreational opportunities, including: Coast Guard and Nauset Light in Eastham, Marconi in Wellfleet, Head of the Meadow in Truro, and Race Point and Herring Cove in Provincetown. - Three bicycle trails, including Nauset Trail in Eastham, Head of the Meadow Trail in Truro and the Province Lands Trail in Provincetown. - Eleven self-guiding trails for walking with the seashore in Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown The credit for protecting and preserving these natural landscapes of the Outer Cape go back to the 1950s, when National Parks officials teamed with public officials and local residents to introduce legislation “for the establishment of Cape Cod National Seashore.” President John F. Kennedy, a proud resident of Cape Cod himself, officially signed the Cape Cod National Seashore Bill on August 7, 1961. He said at the time, “From personal knowledge I realize very well how useful this is going to be for the people of the Cape and Massachusetts and New England and the entire United States.” Today the Cape Cod National Seashore is a viable tourism treasure that helps bolster the local economy and provide jobs. In 2013, visitors spent $185.7 million in communities near the park, and that spending supported 2,226 jobs in the local area, according to the National Parks Service. Across the Commonwealth, NPS maintains 18 parks, consisting of 46,000 acres. Over 10.4 million people visit these parks each year, producing $432 million in economic benefits. National parks are just one of many reasons tourists visit Massachusetts each year, along with history, culture, performing arts, sports and shopping. Find more details on all the Massachusetts has to offer by visiting MassVacation.com.
Massachusetts – The State of Jazz
(Caption: Jazz musicians Grace Kelly and Jason Palmer) Back in the 14th century, when Marco Polo established the Silk Road trade route between Europe and China, he was opening up new connections not just in commerce but also in culture. With new direct flights between Boston Logan International Airport and Panama City, Dubai, Istanbul and Beijing launching over the past year, the Silk Road metaphor seems apt today. Massachusetts has long been a port of call for commerce and tourism, but also a crossroads for immigration, innovation and ideas. We pride ourselves on being in the mix. Jazz itself is a well-traveled Silk Road where artistic expression, cultural traditions and creative ideas are happily exchanged. From its humble beginnings, jazz has carved out an intrepid path that winds its way throughout the world, carrying musical riches far beyond its original borders, and returning home with equal riches from cultures around the world. The 6th annual MassJazz Guide expounds upon this theme by showcasing some of the international musicians who make up the state’s jazz community, including: . Xiongguan Zhang of China, a guitarist from Shanghai Conservatory of Music who is studying jazz at the New England Conservatory. . Utar Artun of Turkey, a composer and multi-instrumentalist at Hacettepe University who came to Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship, and is studying for his master’s degree at New England Conservatory. . Panos Panay, a native of Cyprus who is heading up the new Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship at Berklee College of Music. Panos started Sonicbids, a leading platform for bands to book gigs and market themselves online. . Emilio Lyons, who hails from Salerno, Italy, was recently honored by the Jazz Journalists Association and JazzBoston for his decades-long work as the legendary saxophone repairman at Rayburn Music. The 2014 MassJazz Guide, published by the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, celebrates Massachusetts’ robust jazz scene, which includes festivals, jazz clubs and educational programs. There is a vibrant grassroots scene, including jazz drummers Bart Weisman and Stanley Swann, who keep the music robust here in Massachusetts; radio hosts Christopher Lydon and Jose Masso, who share their love and knowledge of jazz with their listeners; and music emissaries Sue Auclair and Fred Taylor, whose influence in the jazz world far exceeds this locality. Jazz is an important part of the cultural and artistic environment that helps make Massachusetts a great place to live, work, study and visit. It is part of the Massachusetts creative economy, which employs over 100,000 people and generates over $1 billion in economic impact for the state. MassJazz Guide is available at visitor centers, jazz venues and college campuses across the state. Find up to date details on live jazz in Massachusetts at MassJazz.com.
Massachusetts Convention Industry Rolls out SignatureBoston.com
(Caption: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Hynes Convention Center) Do you think Massachusetts wants your convention business? If there’s any doubt, check out the new website unveiled this week called SignatureBoston.com. It’s the latest initiative to showcase Boston’s already significant role as a major meetings destination, and its reputation for delivering exceptional service and technology to meeting professions. SignatureBoston.com is a collaborative effort between Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) and the Boston Convention Marketing Center (BCMC), designed to promote Boston’s two convention centers, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC), and the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center. It will replace “Advantage Boston,” the marketing brand previously used. James E. Rooney, executive director of the MCCA, says that exceeding customer expectations “is our signature. Unique and personal, a signature represents what a person stands for. In Boston, our signature is a commitment to deliver remarkable experiences, beyond our customers’ expectations.” Rooney says the signature concept extends beyond the convention centers, one that the entire city embraces. “From the minute attendees step into Logan Airport to their taxi rides, check-ins at the hotel and their experiences at local restaurants, Signature Boston is a promise that defines our city as the best city for a remarkable meetings experience.” Milt Herbert, executive director of the BCMC, says, “The launch of Signature Boston signifies that we are confident we can give our customers an experience they can’t find in any other city.” The new Signature Boston initiative coincides with the 10 year anniversary celebration for the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC). Since opening the BCEC in June 2004, Boston has consistently ranked as a Top 10 U.S. meetings and conventions destination. In the past decade, the BCEC and Hynes Convention Center combined have hosted 2,400 events, 7.2 million attendees and generated 5.2 million hotel room nights. This activity has generated $5.3 billion in economic activity for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In addition, in 2011 the BCEC and Hynes earned a rare gold standard from the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC), making Boston only the fourth city in North America and the 12th worldwide to have been awarded this top standard, the highest certification level a convention facility can achieve under strict AIPC guidelines.
Massachusetts Invests in its Cultural Facilities
(Caption: Lexington Historical Society Building) Massachusetts just reaffirmed its commitment to culture, education and the performing arts by awarding $14 million in grants to 81 new building projects for nonprofit arts and cultural groups, schools and communities across the Commonwealth. This latest round of awards is part of the Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF), which has invested nearly $70 million in the state’s creative sector in 118 cities and towns since 2007. Here is a a list of the grants . The grants help restore many of Massachusetts’ historic buildings, which in turn preserve the character of many cities and towns and lead to increased tourism. More than 15 million people visit organizations funded by the Mass Cultural Facilities Fund annually, with nearly one third of those visitors coming from out-of-state. Governor Deval Patrick was at the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield this morning to celebrate the new awards and to speak about his strategy for growth, which is focused on education, innovation and infrastructure. “Investments in our creative economy stimulate growth and opportunity in every corner of the Commonwealth,” Governor Patrick said. “Through this new round of funding, we are continuing to create a more vibrant place for our students to learn, our families to live and our businesses to grow.” Administered jointly by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and MassDevelopment, the Cultural Facilities Fund’s goal is to increase investments from both the public sector and private sector so that cultural facilities in Massachusetts can benefit from sound planning and development. In addition to the 81 capital grants, the FY14 round of funding also includes 48 planning grants. The capital grants range from $7,000 to $600,000 and must be matched with funds from private philanthropy and/or other public sources. The creative economy is an important sector of the state’s economy, employing over 100,000 workers and generating $1 billion for Massachusetts. Last month, the Patrick Administration convened an all-day Creative Economy Summit at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design in Boston, where leaders met to collaborate and to celebrate the state’s robust and enduring creative community.
The Boston Pops – Streaming Live from Massachusetts
(Caption: Boston Pops Independence Day Concert on the Esplanade) There are few Fourth of July celebrations more festive, heartfelt and enduring than the annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular that takes place at the Hatch Shell along the Charles River Esplanade. Conductor Keith Lockhart leads the world-famous Pops orchestra and guest artists through a joyful collection of patriotic songs, classical melodies and pop hits that appeal to the hundreds of thousands of spectators who attend. This year’s show takes place on Thursday, July 3, 2014, starting at 8:00 p.m. Now, for the first time, viewers around the nation and the world can enjoy the concert online by watching a live web stream of the entire show, sponsored by the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. The webcast will remain available for 24 days on BostonPopsJuly4.org. “Thanks to the generosity of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, we couldn’t be happier to announce the first-ever webcast of the event, giving us the potential of reaching millions of additional music-loving patriots throughout the country and beyond,” Lockhart said. “That’s great news for this country’s leading Independence Day celebration!” Among the guest performers this year are the Beach Boys, Broadway star Megan Hilty and the award-winning Boston Children’s Chorus. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is a special guest and will narrate a newly commissioned Boston Pops arrangement of the Star-Spangled Banner in honor of the 200th anniversary of the song in 2014. In addition, MOTT is offering viewers a chance to win a trip to Boston to conduct the Boston Pops in during its spring season in 2015. You can enter the contest by tweeting on Twitter with #WatchThePops up through July 4, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. Here are full details. The Boston Pops Firework Spectacular is just one of hundreds of festivities taking place all across Massachusetts on Independence Day weekend. You can find a full schedule here. And finally, Massachusetts is a terrific place to visit any time of year! To see all that Massachusetts has to offer, visit MassVacation.com.
Massachusetts Welcomes China
(Caption: Chinese visitors stand in front of the John Harvard statue in Cambridge.) Photo by Maria Speridakos There’s a new Silk Road coming through Massachusetts, thanks to the recent launch of Hainan Airlines’ direct air route between Boston and Beijing. Just as Marco Polo’s 14th century Silk Road opened up commerce and culture between the west and the east, this new connection between Massachusetts and China will similarly mark a new era of cooperation between two great destinations. Flight 481 landed at Boston’s Logan International Airport on Friday, June 20, 2014, filled with Chinese visitors, airline officials and business travelers eager to experience first-hand the state’s cultural richness, shopping, educational institutions, scenic land and seascapes, and business opportunities. And later that afternoon, Flight 482 left Logan Airport, filled with American tourists, business travelers and Chinese students returning home for the summer. During their stay in Boston, the Chinese visitors were greeted by Governor Deval Patrick and by officials from Massport, Massachusetts Office of Housing & Economic Development, Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT), Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment and other agencies and companies that will help to develop tourism and trade partnerships in the future. MOTT Director Betsy Wall noted that 100 million new Chinese tourists will be traveling in 2015, and Massachusetts wants to capture its share of this lucrative market. MOTT, along with BrandUSA/China, took this opportunity to provide Hainan Airline officials with a familiarization tour of Greater Boston, with support from the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Cambridge Office of Tourism, and local hotels and restaurants. The group toured downtown Boston and checked out Boston’s Seaport District and Innovation Center, before heading over to Cambridge, where Trademark Tours led them on a student-guided walk around Harvard University, followed by a tour of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus. They also visited several iconic visitor destinations in greater Boston, including Fenway Park, Wrentham Village Premium Shopping Outlets in Wrentham, the Museum of Fine Arts, Copley Place, and Assembly Row in Somerville. The Boston-Beijing route is the first non-stop flight between New England and Mainland China, and shaves off about six hours of time it used to take to get from city to city on connector flights. The Hainan schedule includes four nonstop flights a week in each direction, with daily flights being offered in the summer from July 18 through the end of August. In addition to boosting international tourism, Massachusetts officials are also looking to expand commerce and trade as a result of the new Boston-Beijing route. China is currently the 2nd largest recipient of Massachusetts exports, accounting for $2 billion a year in local goods, according to Paula Murphy, director of the Massachusetts Export Center. Another sector of potential growth lies in higher education. Massachusetts is currently the fourth largest host state for Chinese students, behind considerably larger states like California, Texas and Illinois. In 2013, there were 13,109 Chinese students studying in Massachusetts, and those numbers are likely to grow as China continues to familiarize itself with Massachusetts schools and all they have to offer. The Boston-Beijing route is the fourth new international direct air flight coming out of Logan International Airport in the past year. In July 2013, Copa Airlines launched its Boston-Panama City service, followed in Emirates Airline’s Boston-Istanbul route in March 2014, and finally Turkish Airlines’ Boston-Istanbul route in May 2014. For more information about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.
The Magna Carta Comes to Massachusetts
(Museum of Fine Arts, photo by Phyllis Cahaly, MOTT) Visitors to Massachusetts who are intrigued by the state’s illustrious history, especially its role in the Revolutionary War and the founding of the nation, will have one more reason to visit this summer. The Magna Carta, one of the world’s great documents on behalf of liberty, freedom and the rights of individuals, is on display in Massachusetts this summer. The Magna Carta: Cornerstone of Liberty, runs at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston from July 1 – September 1, 2014. The exhibit includes one of only four remaining copies of the charter, which was written in England nearly 800 years ago. Written in 1215, the Magna Carta became the inspiration for both the Massachusetts Constitution and for the Constitution of the United States, as the supreme law of the land, and subsequently for the American Bill of Rights, which protected the rights of all citizens. The Magna Carta provided the framework for “A government of laws, and not of men,” John Adams wrote at the time. The exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, in partnership with the Massachusetts Historical Society and Lincoln Cathedral in Lincolnshire, England, with support by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. State Representative Cory Atkins (D-Concord), co-chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development, was instrumental in working with the MFA and Lincoln Cathedral to secure the loan of the Magna Carta. In addition to the rare charter, the MFA is also putting on display some of its prized possessions, including the museum’s Sons of Liberty Bowl, created by Paul Revere in 1768, as well as sculptures, portraits and historical documents related to the original American colonies. And the Massachusetts Historical Society is loaning two manuscript copies of the Declaration of Independence and other documents of from the 18th century. The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau has put together a Magna Carta Boston History Pass for the exhibit that includes free admission to several sites along Boston’s Freedom Trail. According to the Secretary of State’s Office, the Magna Carta was one of the early symbols here in Massachusetts. When Bostonians stopped recognizing the authority of the British Crown in the 1770s, the General Court instructed a committee to design a new Colony Seal. The temporary seal that was approved depicted a man holding the Magna Carta, engraved by Paul Revere himself. Massachusetts visitors and residents will have a second chance to see the exhibit, since it travels to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown after September 1, before moving to the Library of Congress in Washington DC. For more information on visiting Massachusetts this summer or any time of the year, go to MassVacation.com.
LegoLand Discovery Center Opens in Somerville Today
(Caption: Iconic Landmarks of Boston, made with 3 million lego bricks) Photo courtesy of MOTT, Phyllis M. Cahaly If you build it, they will come, so they can build something too! That’s the expectation of the LegoLand Discovery Center in Massachusetts, which opens today in the new Assembly Row complex in Somerville. Expect to see lots of families and earnest young builders descending on the new Center in the coming months, to hone their building skills and to have a lot of fun! Hailed as the company’s largest LegoLand Discovery Center in the world, it is the sixth center to open in North America, and already tickets are going fast. The buzz started in January when Lego officials held a two day competition at the Boston Public Library to find the best lego builder. Over 100 competitors participated, and the ultimate winner was Ian Coffey of Albany, now the newly hired Master Model Builder at the Somerville store! The new center has great educational and tourism value, according to Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, as group tours and school classes begin to discover it in the months ahead. The LegoLand Discovery Center is part of a much larger and exciting building project called Assembly Row in Somerville. The $1.36 billion transit-oriented development of 56.2 acres can accommodate 1.75 million square feet of office space, 852,000 square feet of retail stores, restaurants and a cinema, a 200 room hotel, and 2,100 new residential units. In addition, Partners HealthCare is moving 4,500 employees into a new office building in 2016. The Massachusetts Office of Housing & Economic Development, which oversees the state’s economic development plan,has committed $27.5 million in funding to Assembly Row through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program. The funds support construction of a new MBTA Orange Line station and infrastructure needed to complete this development. These types of economic development projects are part of the state’s core strategy of long-term investments in education, innovation and infrastructure. Empowering regions is part of the economic development plan too, and EOHED works closely with local municipal and regional leaders to ensure that they have the means to attract and encourage business investment and job creation. Last year, EOHED launched the MetroNorth Initiative, a consortium of ten Greater Boston communities that include Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Revere, Somerville and Winthrop, plus two Boston neighborhoods, Charlestown and East Boston. These are communities where businesses settle and where people live, work and play, and therefore have enormous potential for smart and dynamic growth. For more information about Massachusetts’ economic development plan, go to Choosing to Compete in the 21st Century,
Massachusetts Celebrates Tourism Day on May 14
(Caption: Swan Boats in the Public Garden, Boston) Tourism and hospitality leaders from around Massachusetts gathered today at the State House to celebrate Tourism Day. The annual event showcases the sixteen regional tourism councils across the Commonwealth and fosters awareness of the state’s third largest industry. Exhibiting at the Grand Staircase and Hall of Flags, the regional tourism advocates shared their literature, home-grown products and infectious enthusiasm for their localities that is so welcoming to visitors. The Massachusetts tourism industry has sufficient numbers to back up the enthusiasm. In 2013, visitors spent nearly $17.7 billion and generated $1.1 billion in state and local taxes. The tourism sector supports 126,000 jobs for residents. “The people who work in the tourism industry deserve the credit for making Massachusetts one of America’s most desirable vacation destinations,” says Betsy Wall, executive director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. Wall is particularly enthusiastic about international tourism, and MOTT has joined forces with BrandUSA, which markets the United States to the world. In 2013, international travel in Massachusetts increased by 12%, totaling over two million foreign visitors. Since 2012, Massport has launched new international air routes between Boston and Tokyo, Japan; Panama City, Panama; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Istanbul, Turkey; and starting June 20, Beijing, China. As part of the ceremonies, the Regional Tourism Councils bestowed their Champions of Tourism Award to Senator Kathleen O’Connor-Ives (D-Newburyport) and Representative Cory Atkins (D-Concord), who are current co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development. For more information about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.
Masachūsettsu-shū e yōkoso!
(Caption: Governor Deval Patrick and Governor Yuji Kuroiwa at the Massachusetts State House) As part of the state’s robust global engagement strategy, Massachusetts has strengthened its economic relationship with Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture this month. Governor Deval Patrick and Governor Yuji Kuroiwa signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on May 7, 2014 that enhances economic activity between Massachusetts and Kanagawa, while increasing academic exchanges and business collaborations between the two centers of innovation. The MOU is the product of the Massachusetts-Japan Innovation Partnership Mission in December 2013, during which Governor Patrick met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Governor Kuroiwa and other Japanese officials. The MOU will usher in a new era of collaboration in the innovation economy with a focus on growing jobs and opportunities in the areas of life sciences, big data, clean energy, robotics and healthcare information technology. “This agreement will foster new commercial partnerships in the vital innovation industries in both Massachusetts and Kanagawa Prefecture,” said Governor Patrick. “That’s how we grow jobs and opportunity in today’s global economy.” “Today, we are taking another step to ensure that Massachusetts remains an active player in the 21st century global economy,” said Massachusetts Office of Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. “Through this increased collaboration, we are strengthening our ties abroad and expanding the reach of our innovation industries.” “We are extremely pleased that our mission to Japan has resulted in this important agreement with Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture,” said Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment Director Richard Elam. “This international collaboration offers the world the best of Japan’s and America’s life sciences and broader innovation technologies.” Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) are among the state agencies involved in this initiative. Longstanding Cultural Ties Massachusetts and Japan have longstanding ties dating back nearly a century. The Japan Society of Boston was created in 1920 to strengthen friendship and cultural, business and international relations. Since then the society has honored emissaries who exemplify this friendship. Just last week, the society honored Tony Award winner Diane Paulus, artistic director of the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, at its annual dinner. Diane’s mother, Teruko Uchida, was born in Japan, and she met Diane’s father, Laurence Paulus, in Tokyo. The Japanese have played prominent cultural roles in the life of Massachusetts. One of the world’s great maestros, Seiji Ozawa, was conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1973 to 2002, the longest-serving music director in the orchestra’s illustrious history. The orchestra performed in Tokyo on May 8-10, 2014, as part of its tour to China and Japan. Since 1980, the world-renowned Koyo Conservatory of Music has been part of the Berklee International Network and sends many of its best students to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. The school’s connection to Japan goes back to 1956, when acclaimed pianist and NEA Jazz Master Toshiko Akiyoshi was the first Japanese musician to win a scholarship to the college. The Massachusetts-Japan relationship was strengthened in 1959 when Kyoto became Boston’s first sister city. And in 1987, New Bedford/Fairhaven, in southeast Massachusetts, formed a sister city agreement with Tosashimizu, Japan, in honor of Manjiro Nakahama, a young Japanese fisherman who lived in Fairhaven in the 19th century. More recently, some of Japan’s finest pitchers – from Daisuke Matsuzaka to Koji Uehara - have contributed to the great success of the Boston Red Sox, forging an international fan base. In 2011, the Red Sox Foundation donated $50,000 to relief efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan. In November 2013, the Massachusetts-Japan relationship deepened further when Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President John F. Kennedy, was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Japan. Ambassador Kennedy held a reception for Governor Patrick and the Massachusetts trade delegation in December. Trade & Travel Partners Today, the Consulate-General of Japan in Boston is active in representing Japan throughout New England. More than 130 Japanese companies support over 10,000 jobs in the Commonwealth and approximately 13,000 Japanese nationals have made Massachusetts their home. In 2013, Japan was Massachusetts’ fifth largest export partner, with Massachusetts exporting approximately $1.762 billion in goods and services, according to the Massachusetts Export Center. In 2012, Governor Patrick and the Massachusetts Port Authority announced the first non-stop flight between Boston and Tokyo (Narita), linking Massachusetts and Japan via Japan Airlines (JAL). Since the commencement of service, the flight has grown in popularity and continues to deepen the connections between the Commonwealth and Japan. Japan is one of six key global markets actively promoted by the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, which has a tourism website in Japanese for tourists who want to visit Massachusetts. In 2012, 70,000 Japanese visitors came to Massachusetts, spending $108 million and generating $7 million in state and local taxes. In the months ahead, the Massachusetts-Japan connection will flourish on the fashion front, too. Uniqlo, one of Japan’s most popular clothing brands, just announced that it is launching a pop-up store in Boston this summer, followed by six permanent locations in Massachusetts in the coming year. To all of our Japanese friends, visitors and business partners, Masachūsettsu-shū e yōkoso (Welcome to Massachusetts).
Baby Boomers Visit Boston for AARP Expo, May 8-10
The Baby-boomers are coming to Boston! They are converging from all over the nation for the upcoming AARP National Event & Expo, entitled Life@ 50+, taking place May 8-10, 2014 at the Boston Convention & Exposition Center (BCEC). Organized by the American Association for Retired Persons, Life@ 50+ is a big, boisterous occasion, with three days of events, activities, seminars and products designed especially for this affluent demographic of older Americans. Life@50+ is an expo show geared to consumers, and admission is only $25 ($35 if you’re not an AARP member). About 15,000 people are expected to attend the expo, and that’s good news for the Massachusetts economy, since older visitors tend to have more disposable money to spend on hotels, restaurants and souvenirs. In Massachusetts, 37% of domestic tourists who visit are age 55 or older, according to the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT). AARP itself is a formidable organization, with over 37 million members. Nearly 55% of AARP members are college educated, and over 60% enjoy traveling. “That’s one reason why MOTT will have a booth at the expo, where it expects to distribute over 3,000 pieces of literature touting Massachusetts as a vacation destination,” says Strategic Planning Manager Darrell LeMar. Joining MOTT are regional tourism councils from around the state who will help market Massachusetts to visitors from across America. An A-List of inspirational speakers and entertainers include former First Lady Laura Bush; Boston Marathon heroes Carlos Arredondo and Jeff Bauman; performers Linda Ronstadt, The Moody Blues, Mary Wilson and the Spinners; television personalities Whoopi Goldberg and Massachusetts native Jay Leno; and sports stars like Celtics legend Bill Russell; hockey Olympian Mike Eruzione; NFL Hall of Fame quarterbacks Steve Grogan and Dan Marino and former Red Sox pitcher Luis Tiant. There’s a strong community-service element to the show as well. On Thursday, May 8, Governor Deval Patrick is joining hundreds of AARP volunteers who are going into Boston’s neighborhoods for a day of service, to help with home and school projects that include landscaping, mentoring, greening projects, community gardens and senior centers. To the AARP delegates this weekend, we say, welcome, stay awhile and please, come back soon! For more information about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.
Cheers to National Beer Day in Massachusetts
Today is National Beer Day across America. That is good news for beer lovers everywhere, but particularly here in Massachusetts, thanks to our robust, localized industry of craft beer makers. It turns out Massachusetts is the eighth largest exporting state for beer, according to Paula L. Murphy, Director of the Massachusetts Export Center. And our exports are growing. Our total export value in 2013 was $14.2 million, Murphy says, which represents a 113% jump over 2012. New craft brewers have been cropping up in all regions of the state, which led to the creation of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild in 2007, a non-profit group that promotes the art of craft brewing. The Guild has just issued a Massachusetts Craft Brewers Trail, which is available for free at visitor centers around the state. The map lists 65 companies across the state, with many of the breweries offering tours of their plants. Craft brewing is part of a localized, do it yourself movement gaining traction around the world, with an emphasis on local produce and home-grown ingredients. The Craft Brewers Trail brochures says that “Many of these world-class breweries feature ingredients from Massachusetts, such as locally grown and malted grains, fresh hops, and indigenous yeast strains.” The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, which promotes the state’s many culinary assets, also has a handy list of craft breweries across the state, alongside other interesting categories like Wineries, Farmers Markets, Sports Bars and Distilleries! How did National Beer Day come to be, you’re wondering? April 7, 1933 was the day that President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the Cullen-Harrison Act, which essentially lifted thirteen years of alcohol prohibition in the United States. If you want to find out more about craft beer, then attend the American Craft Beer Fest, taking place May 30-31, 2014 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, and the Mass Brewers Guild Fest on August 29, 2014, also at Boston’s World Trade Center. Find out more about locally produced products at MassGrown, and to learn more about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com. Cheers!
Massachusetts Hosts Economic Development Summit on April 10
Greg Bialecki, secretary of the state’s Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development, has invited leaders from business, government and academia to convene this Thursday, April 10, 2014, for Massachusetts’ annual economic development summit. Over 200 participants are attending the all-day event at the Newton Marriott Hotel, including a cross-section of business leaders, state and municipal officials and global thinkers who have helped strengthen Massachusetts’ reputation as a world leader in innovation and entrepreneurship. The summit is an outgrowth of Choosing to Compete in the 21st Century, the state’s central organizing framework for measuring its economic development activities. This comprehensive plan, initiated by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2010, builds upon Governor Deval Patrick ’s core strategy of long-term investments in education, innovation and infrastructure, and focuses on five broad categories for action, along with 55 specific action steps. These five categories include Building Talent, Innovation Economy, Empowering Regions, Ease of Doing Business and Cost Competitiveness. Bialecki stresses “collaboration and strategic planning” as key ingredients for sustainable economic growth in the future, so much of the discussion will focus on state initiatives that meet these criteria. Examples include developing advanced manufacturing partnerships and middle-skills training in community colleges; creating innovation ecosystems to spawn startups; strengthening housing, job and educational opportunities across the entire state; and enacting ways to improve cost competitiveness while making it easy to do business in Massachusetts. Here is an online version of the brochure, and of the program and panelist biographies. For more information on the economic development summit, contact ChooseToCompete@state.ma.us. For an ongoing look at the state’s progress, visit Mass.gov/compete.
Agriculture Day at the Massachusetts State House
Caption: Mural on City Feed and Supply in Jamaica Plain, Boston The State House got a genuine Taste of Massachusetts this week as farmers from around the Commonwealth came to celebrate Agriculture Day, an annual event that showcases the rich bounty of food and beverage produced in-state, while giving farmers an occasion to educate public officials about issues affecting their industry. The event was organized by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation and other organizations. On hand was an abundance of locally harvested and produced items, ranging from oysters, cranberry juice and apple pies to cheese, honey and milk shakes. And culinary students from the Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School in Marlboro prepared and served a variety of dishes made from Massachusetts products, such as turkey, lamb, root vegetables, honey and local cheeses. Governor Deval Patrick spoke to the assembly and presented the group with a proclamation declaring March 26, 2014 at Massachusetts Agriculture Day. In turn, the farmers presented the governor with an award in recognition of his support of their issues over the years. The farming industry in Massachusetts generates nearly $490 million in revenues, maintaining about 520,000 acres of open space. There are about 7,700 farms, employing 12,000 works, according to Richard Sullivan, secretary of Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs. Greg Watson, Commissioner of Department of Agricultural Resources, said that “The reliance on our agricultural community to meet the increasing demand for local products continues to grow as the Buy Local movement expands.” Paula L. Murphy, Director of the Massachusetts Export Center, says that the state exported more than $914 million of food and agricultural items in 2013. “Massachusetts is the nation’s number one exporter of scallops and the number three exporter of seafood,” Murphy adds. “And we are the nation’s number one exporter of cranberry juice.” In fact, culinary tourism is yet another reason to visit the state. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism has developed a a handy overview of culinary activities for visitors, including a culinary calendar of food festivals and fairs. For other farm produce information, check out the Massachusetts Association of Roadside Stands , and this Mass Grown Map of farm products, specialty foods and fun agricultural activities throughout the state. Here is a list of farmers’ markets, but if you can’t wait till summer, check out these 40 winter farmers’ markets.
Massachusetts Trade Mission to Panama and Mexico – New Alliances for Economic Growth
(Caption: Copa Airlines Launch at Logan International Airport in July 2013) Trade, technology and tourism are on the agenda for Governor Deval Patrick, who leads an innovation trade mission to Panama and Mexico on March 17-March 22, 2014 with a delegation of business leaders and state officials. The mission is part of an assertive global outreach Massachusetts has undertaken to form alliances with like-minded nations that share a common strategy for economic growth. In Massachusetts, that strategy centers on investing in innovation, education and infrastructure. Governor Patrick notes that Latin American business and government leaders “are eager to collaborate with us because they recognize that Massachusetts is an innovation hub with a disciplined strategy for growth.” In Panama, a country whose growth strategy is focused on science, Massachusetts officials are meeting with Panama’s Minister of Science and innovation leaders in Panama City. Massachusetts and Panama already share a strong relationship, thanks to the Copa Airlines direct route between Boston and Panama City that Massport launched in July 2013. That new route connects Massachusetts to 55 other Latin American destinations, opening up new portals to do business in one of the world’s emerging markets. The Mass Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) has held workshops for the tourism industry to help position Massachusetts in this emerging market. The Massachusetts-Panama connection could get even more stronger in the months ahead: the Panama Canal is currently undergoing an expansion that could potentially double the inputs and outputs through the Conley Container Terminal in South Boston. In Mexico, the Massachusetts delegation is meeting with leaders in clean energy, big data, life sciences and transportation sectors, to share best practices and discuss business opportunities. Massachusetts and Mexico are already significant trading partners. In 2013, Massachusetts exported $1.86 billion worth of goods and services to Mexico, and imported $3.37 billion from Mexico. Massachusetts’ reputation as a world leader in innovation continues to grow. In February, as a prelude to the trade mission, top leaders from Mexico’s innovation sectors journeyed to Boston to meet with officials from the Mass Office of International Trade & Investment (MOITI), Mass Tech Collaborative (MTC) and the Mass Clean Energy Center. Rich Elam, executive director of MOITI, said “The Mexican delegation was most interested to learn from the Massachusetts experience in building a first class innovation economy.” Ambassador Daniel Hernandez Joseph, Consul General of Mexico in Boston, says that “Massachusetts is a global leader in the knowledge economy…and Governor Patrick’s mission to Mexico comes at a perfect time to strengthen our bonds and maximize the opportunities for developing new state-of-the-art sectors.”
Massachusetts Opens New Mideast Route with Emirates Airline
Travel, commerce and education are key economic engines in the global economy, and Massachusetts has just revved up these areas with the launch of Emirates Airline this week. The non-stop flight between Boston and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, officially launched on March 10, and opens up a whole new region of the world. Named the “World’s Best Airlines” by Skytrax in 2013, Emirates has a sizable network of 142 destinations in six continents. At Boston Logan International Airport on March 10, Governor Deval Patrick told airline officials that the new route “will help the Commonwealth facilitate commerce and trade, allowing us to be a strong force and have more access to the global market.” Sir Timothy Clark, President of Emirates, said, “Great cities need great airports, and great airports need great airlines, and I hope we’re one of those. Boston is our eighth (American) gateway city, and one of our most optimistic ones, because of the (market) segmentation it offers us.” Having an enhanced international presence can only benefit the Massachusetts/New England economy. Since 2012, Massport has developed five new, non-stop international air routes between Boston and Tokyo, Panama City, Dubai, and later this spring, Istanbul and Beijing. These connections are already impacting Massachusetts across multiple sectors. Take tourism, for example, the state’s third largest employer, supporting 126,000 jobs throughout the Commonwealth. The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism reports that International tourism increased by 12% in 2013, with over two million foreign visitors coming to Massachusetts. Business opportunities stand to benefit too. There are currently more than 50 New England companies operating in the United Arabs Emirates, according to Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment. Massachusetts’ colleges and universities will also benefit. The state currently hosts 46,486 international students, an increase of 13% over 2012, ranking fourth among all U.S. states for international students, according to the Institute of International Education. Massachusetts has a longstanding tradition as an international destination, thanks to our educational institutions, medical facilities, history and heritage, cultural richness, diverse economy and beautiful natural environment. That tradition remains strong in this era of global engagement, as Massachusetts continues to seek new avenues to reach out to the world, and to invite the world here.
Massachusetts – Proud of its Olympians and its Sports Traditions
(Caption: Gold Medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White Compete at U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Boston in January) Now that the 2014 Winter Olympics are officially over, it is especially gratifying to sing the praises of the Massachusetts athletes who represented our state and the United States and other countries. Shannah McArdle, Director of the Massachusetts Sports Marketing Office, has compiled a summary of 30+ Sochi Olympians with Bay State Connections, who were born here, attended college here, or are playing professional sports here. It’s an impressive list that speaks to our love of sports, our competitive spirit and longstanding traditions of excellence. Massachusetts played a supportive role in this year’s Winter Olympics, when the Skating Club of Boston hosted the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January, held at TD Garden and Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC). It was thrilling to see skating duo Meryl Davis and Charlie White win the Olympic Gold Medal in ice dancing, after we had just cheered them on in Boston a month earlier. McArdle is an active player in soliciting bids for major sporting events. Last fall, the Massachusetts Sports Office helped various teams and venues coordinate “Team Massachusetts” bids for large sporting events being solicited by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). In December we got the good news that Massachusetts was awarded six NCAA sporting events for 2014-2017: Betsy Wall, executive director of Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) , says that sporting events bring substantial economic benefits to Massachusetts by attracting fans from all over the world, who stay overnight in hotels, eat in restaurants, shop at stores and visit the state’s many tourist attractions. The U.S. Figure Skating Championships underscores the economic impact these events bring. Nearly 1100,000 spectators came to Boston for the week-long skating events, spending an estimated $20 million. The event also contributed to the highest hotel occupancy since 2007 for the month of December, according to the Boston Business Journal. In the wake of the successful Boston outing comes more good news: Boston is slated to host the 2016 International Skating Union (ISU) World Figure Skating Championships. Boston has rightful claims to be called the City of Champions: since 2000, the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics won a combined 8 championship titles. That winning spirit also extends to our collegiate teams and filters down to our high school athletes too. For more information about how Massachusetts promotes itself as a premier sports destination, contact the Massachusetts Sports Marketing Office.
Massachusetts Goes West to Enlist New College Students
Educators from Massachusetts are hitting the road this season to attend National College Fairs in Texas and California, part of an organized effort to entice high school students to select the Bay State for their college choice. The roadshows are organized by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts (AICUM), an educational association representing over 60 independent and private schools in Massachusetts. AICUM has teamed up with the state’s public universities and colleges to present a united front at these fairs. The strategy is to create a distinct brand by bringing together dozens of participating schools from across the Commonwealth into a single pavilion under the Massachusetts banner. It’s a novel way for the Massachusetts schools to stand out before the thousands of high school students, parents and guidance counsellors shopping for colleges in the sprawling exhibit, which has schools from all 50 states. This week AICUM is attending the Dallas/Ft. Worth National College Fair on Monday, February 10, at the Irving Convention Center in Las Colinas, followed by the Houston National College Fair at the Reliant Center on Thursday, February 13. At each show, a full range of Massachusetts colleges are represented, from University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Northeastern University to Mt. Holyoke College and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. In April, Massachusetts is attending the National College Fairs in San Diego on April 23 and Los Angeles/Pasadena on May 1, 2014. California ranks third - after New York and Connecticut – for the number of non-Massachusetts students enrolling here each year. The outreach to prospective college students fits into Governor Deval Patrick’s strategy for growth, which is “about investing time, ideas and money in education, innovation and infrastructure.” Massachusetts has one of the most renowned clusters of universities and colleges, research centers, and medical training institutions in the world. With over 100 college campuses across the state, and over 500,000 students enrolled each year, Massachusetts offers an impressive range of educational choices that include private and public universities, medium sized colleges, denomination schools, all-women’s colleges, art and music schools, technical schools and community colleges. The Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development has worked with innovation industries to set up excellent internship programs in Life Sciences, BioTechnology, Clean Energy, High Tech and other fields, which allow students to make the transition from college curriculums to real-life experience. To find out more about what Massachusetts has to offer, visit AICUM for private colleges and universities, or the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education for a list of public higher education campuses. If you’re planning to visit college campuses in the coming year, MassVacation.com has a handy compendium of schools, with information on directions, transportation, local events , hotels and restaurants and other things to make your trip memorable.
New England Music Awards – Fueling Our Creative Economy
Want to get in on the ground floor of discovering future Grammy Award winners or rock n’ roll Hall-of-Famers? Then make your way to the 3rd annual New England Music Awards, taking place at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium on February 21-22, 2014. It’s an amazing showcase of the region’s best independent musicians and bands, many of them destined for stardom. State tourism officials are delighted that NEMA has found its home in Lowell, a city known for hosting first-class musical events such as the Lowell Folk Festival and the Lowell Summer Music Series each summer. Because of its location, affordability, cultural traditions and proximity to highways and transportation, Lowell is the perfect place to host this regional event, says Deb Belanger, head of the Greater Merrimack Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau, who helped bring NEMA to the city in 2013. She wants the event to grow in Lowell each year, and we do too. The local music scene is part of the bustling creative community in Massachusetts, which employs over 100,000 people and contributes $1 billion to the state’s economy, says Helena Frucio, who heads up the state’s Creative Economy Initiative. Keeping musicians and other artists busy, prosperous and satisfied with where they live is important to the state. A robust performing arts scene also attracts tourists from across the country and around the world, and that is good for our economy. As a sign of the NEMA’s growing popularity, over 4,200 bands submitted entries this year, says Joseph Graham, co-founder of the event. Over 100 finalists were culled from the entries by a committee of top music journalists, radio personalities, talent buyers and record label executives from across the six New England states. Then online voters choose the winners. The awards ceremony on Saturday, February 22, is hosted by comedian Steve Sweeney, a Massachusetts treasure in his own right. He’ll help announce the awards in 23 different categories, including Band of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best in State for each of the six New England states. What we like about NEMA is its commitment to helping independent musicians find the right resources to be successful. On Saturday afternoon it is presenting a free Artists Conference, in which aspiring and seasoned musicians alike can attend workshops on marketing and social media, hear live demonstrations, meet talent scouts and ask questions about business contracts, insurance and other topics of interest. Pundits are already suggesting that NEMA could become the next SXSW Music Festival, the iconic gathering of indie music lovers that takes place in Austin, TX, each winter. We say why not! Massachusetts has the cultural traditions, grassroots spirit and natural talent, plus a host of excellent music colleges (Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, UMass/Amherst and UMass/Lowell to name a few), to become a major destination for performing arts festivities. In the past few years alone, we’ve had a slew of new festivals, including Boston Calling festival at City Hall Plaza, Outside the Box arts festival in downtown Boston, Life is Good Festival in Canton, the Nines Festival in Devens, and the Summer Arts Weekend at Boston’s Copley Square. Performing Arts is one of those quality of life assets that help to define a place. A strong cultural scene is an incentive for talented people to visit, study, and settle down here. Our performing arts scene continues to grow stronger each year, and that is good for our Creative Economy.
The Boston – Beijing Route Opens Up a New Silk Road
The new direct air route between Boston and Beijing, launching on Friday, June 20, 2014 with Hainan Airlines, is causing great excitement and anticipation in Massachusetts and indeed throughout New England. In January officials from the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism conducted an all-day workshop in Boston to discuss how our tourism industry can take advantage of the new route. MOTT Director Betsy Wall noted that 100 million new Chinese tourists will be traveling in 2015, and Massachusetts wants to capture its share of this lucrative market. MOTT has partnered with BrandUSA, America’s national tourism agency, to reach out to Chinese tour operators, business travelers, students, families and travel agents in the coming months. And MOTT is also working with Massport to promote this route along with other new international routes to Central and South America, Turkey and the Middle East. This global outreach is part of the The Patrick Administration’s economic strategy plan, Choosing to Compete, designed to strengthen economic opportunities on every front. Governor Patrick’s recent Innovation Partnership mission to the Near East, for example, has already created new business partnerships with Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The Massachusetts-China connection is not new. In the 19th century, local entrepreneurial sea merchants like Robert Bennet Forbes of Milton and Elias Derby of Salem forged important new trading links with China. Boston merchants brought back boatloads of tea, spices, silk and other exotic goods, fueling the Massachusetts economy while also establishing the Bay State as an international port of call. Many of the artifacts from this era have been carefully preserved at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem and other smaller venues found on the China Trade Trail, created by the Forbes House Museum and Salem Maritime National Historic Site. Back in the 13th century days of Venetian explorer Marco Polo, the term Silk Road was used to describe the 4,000 mile trade routes between China and Europe. Silk Road was one of the world’s first networking connectors, linking not only economic trade and commerce but also serving as a cultural bridge between two different parts of the world. That term has been rejuvenated today by world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, whose Silk Road Project is a fascinating exploration of music and culture “as a means of communication and as a vehicle for the migration of ideas” across the world. Ma, who was born in Paris of Chinese parents, now lives in Massachusetts and has centered the Silk Road Project at Harvard University. We are optimistic that in the coming years, the Boston-Beijing connection will create a new Silk Road, opening up new opportunities for the exchange of business and commerce, tourism and education, and culture and ideas between these two great destinations.
Welcome to Our Blog
Massachusetts It’s All Here has been a familiar tag line to people seeking to find out more about Massachusetts –why it’s a great place to live, work, study, visit, invest in, start a business or grow a business. Yes, we know there is already an abundance of information on virtually anything you want to know about Massachusetts, and that’s the way we like it. Our blog, MassItsAllHere has a more specific purpose: to create an ongoing narrative about Massachusetts that reaches across multiple sectors and points of reference. By focusing on innovation, growing the economy, jobs, education, quality of life and the creative arts, we hope to arrive at the essence of Massachusetts. We’ll enlist some guest bloggers to help us tell the story of Massachusetts, and we welcome your suggestions along the way! -The Commonwealth Marketing Office
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