In April, more than 400 travel professionals attended the 23rd Annual Discover England Tourism Summit & International Marketplace at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in Falmouth. Approximately 300 New England tourism attractions, hotels, restaurants and destination marketing organizations attended to learn about new ways to harness the growth brought about by new flights, new markets and new tourism products.
The highlight of the event was a marketplace where tourism professionals from New England met directly with international tour and receptive operators, educating them about their travel products, establishing relationships and initiating contracts for both group tours and foreign independent travelers.
The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism met with 85 buyers from the U.S., United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark.
Discover New England Executive Director Lori Harnois said, “The summit is the only event of its kind in New England. Each year, our tourism industry comes together to develop business relationships with top international travel professionals who organize, package and market U.S. trips to many thousands of overseas visitors each year.”
In 2016 New England hosted 2.1 million overseas visitors who spent $6.1 billion traveling to New England destinations, according to the most recent data available from research firm Travel Market Insights.
MOTT Executive Director Francois-Laurent Nivaud welcomed the delegates to the conference, and gave an overview of the state’s activities in tourism.
“In 2016, New England hosted 2.1 million visitors who spent $6.1 billion traveling throughout our region,” Nivaud said. “Thanks to Massport’s steady expansion to 55+ international direct routes from Logan Airport, there has never been a better time for New England to capitalize on welcoming the world to our region.”
Nivaud discussed the 400th anniversary of Plymouth in 2020, “which recognizes the settlement of the early Europeans as well as the Indigenous People already living here. Making history a central part of the visitor experience in the decade ahead is an initiative that all of New England can work on together.”
This year’s keynote speaker was U.S Travel Association’s President and CEO Roger Dow, who said, “The potential value of the Discover New England summit to the region’s destinations and hospitality businesses cannot be overstated. The ability to connect with dozens upon dozens of influential travel buyers all at one event provides tremendous bang for the marketing buck, and will elevate the region’s entire economy and jobs base with the huge volume of visitors they will bring on the back end. I, for one, am honored to be participating in the summit this year.”
Find more information about Discover New England.
To learn about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.