Today, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy and Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism Executive Director Keiko Matsudo Orrall were joined by Senator Susan Moran, Representatives Matt Muratore and Kathleen LaNatra, and other state and local officials to celebrate a total of $4 million in awards to 80 tourism organizations, chambers of commerce, and municipalities as part of the Travel and Tourism Recovery (TTR) Grant Program.

The awards, which were first announced in April, were funded from the TTR Grant Pilot Program and are dedicated to marketing projects that support the My Local MA campaign, enhance tourism recovery, and have the potential to increase non-resident visitation. The program’s goal is to strengthen the Massachusetts economy through the development and enhancement of the state’s tourism industry. Today’s event took place at the Plymouth Center for the Arts, which received a $55,000 award to promote increased tourism to Plymouth this spring.

“Our tourism and hospitality industries are key drivers of economic activity in the Commonwealth and this program provides targeted support for initiatives that accelerate these industries’ progress toward recovery,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Recognizing the pandemic’s impact on these industries, we are excited to continue our support through this important grant program.”

“Through this series of awards, our Administration continues to uphold our commitment to supporting the tourism and hospitality industries as they continue to bounce back from the effects of COVID-19,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Thanks to the strong partnerships with our tourism councils, municipal leaders, and regional and local chambers of commerce, and with the help from this grant program, we can capitalize on these opportunities as we enter the peak travel season.”

“We want to ensure the Commonwealth’s economic recovery is both equitable and statewide, and this grant program directs resources to two key sectors that were hit especially hard by the pandemic,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “I want to thank the team at MOTT for ensuring these critical dollars are providing direct support for our downtowns and town centers. These funds, in addition to the Main Streets investments proposed in the FORWARD bill, will foster the resurgence of tourism and local economic activity across the Commonwealth.”

“By enabling regional tourism groups, destination marketing organizations and municipalities to market their specific strengths and visitor assets, the TTR grant program enhances the overall brand of Massachusetts,” said MOTT Executive Director Keiko Matsudo Orrall. “This approach also shines a spotlight on family-owned businesses, Main Street retailers and seasonal enterprises that rely on tourism dollars.”

Funded through the Tourism Trust Fund, the TTR Grant Program was open to any public, nonprofit agency, 501(c)3, or 501(c)6 that has been in operation in Massachusetts for at least two consecutive years since January 2019, and is in good standing with taxes and licenses/registrations in the Commonwealth.

The TTR programs are in alignment with the Baker-Polito Administration’s Partnerships for Recovery Plan to help stabilize and grow the Massachusetts economy. The plan focuses on getting people back to work, supporting small businesses, fostering innovation, revitalizing downtowns, and ensuring housing stability.

“Tourism is an integral part of my district’s ability to grow, both economically and culturally,” said Senator Susan Moran. “This program intentionally gives grantees the autonomy to identify where funding should be targeted in a manner that best aligns with their own travel and tourism goals, as well as the region’s broader community development landscape.”

“I am thrilled to see our community receive so much funding to promote and invest in our tourism industry,” said Representative Kathy LaNatra. “Plymouth and the surrounding areas have so much to offer to visitors from around the world. I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for their crucial and worthwhile investments in this area’s tourism industry.”

“I’m grateful to Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism Director Orrall and Secretary Kennealy for recognizing that investments in targeted marketing efforts lead to increased consumer spending, support our businesses, and help entice more visitors to accelerate tourism recovery efforts,” said Representative Matt Muratore. “Tourism is Plymouth’s number 1 industry, with something for everyone here and these grants for See Plymouth, Plymouth Center for the Arts, Plimoth Patuxet Museums, and Plymouth Regional Economic Development Foundation will assist in drawing visitors interested in a variety of different attractions to Plymouth and Southeastern Massachusetts.”

The full list of grant recipients can be found here.