(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.