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Lea Filson serves as the President/CEO of See Plymouth. We spoke to Lea about her role, her organization, and the area.
Tell us about your background and how you came to this position.
I began as a journalist in New Orleans and throughout that career worked in television, radio, and print. I have reported for CBS News Radio as well as field produced for all three networks. After Hurricane Katrina, I was invited to join the leadership bringing back tourism. In doing that, I brought journalists, network and cable television shows, and national radio programs to New Orleans. I headed up fam visits from media and trade groups as well as coordinating press rooms for the Super Bowl, WWE, NOLANavy, etc. There is much more but I will stop there.
I visited Plymouth, MA, for over fifteen years on the national board of the Mayflower Society, based in Plymouth, and ended up running it between 2015 and 2018. The opportunity to lead tourism in Plymouth has been a joy and I inherited an incredible team from the late Paul Cripps. We receive funding from both MOTT and the town of Plymouth to promote the town and county of Plymouth. We operate the MA Visitor Center at Route 3, Exit 13; The Waterfront Visitor Center on Plymouth Harbor; and at our headquarters in the heart of downtown at the corner of Court and North Streets.
How does See Plymouth support local businesses, especially those involved in hospitality and tourism?
We support through promoting the destination, events, and special occasions for businesses in the tourism district; through partnerships in advertising with the other RTCs, MOTT, USTA and more; through advocacy to the state legislature to keep Plymouth top of mind; with bands on a Friday night from 4pm to 6pm in the town of Plymouth to get people’s weekends going; with a team that specializes in advertising, public relations, membership, travel and trade shows, and operating our three visitor centers. We participate in helping many DMOs throughout Plymouth County like Scituate, Middleborough, Hull, etc.
What are some of the challenges See Plymouth is facing?
Transportation is our biggest problem. I was able to get a grant to bring Ride Circuit in for free rides in electric vehicles throughout the historic district between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but we need taxis, more Uber and Lyft drivers, bus service to the town center, and train service restored.
Tell us about some upcoming events in Plymouth.
In August, we have Heritage Days (Scituate); Waterfront Festival (Plymouth); Street Painting Fest (Onset); and in September, King Richard’s Faire (Carver)
What’s the best way for visitors to find out more information?
For all things Plymouth County, download the See Plymouth app or go to SeePlymouth.com.