October 21, 2016

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Massachusetts Breaks Record of Domestic and International Travelers in 2015

(Boston) – October 21, 2016 – The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) today announced that a record-breaking 28.2 million visitors traveled to Massachusetts in 2015, contributing to the state’s economic growth while increasing its workforce.

“Tourism and hospitality are important economic drivers for our local cities and towns,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Last year’s record growth is a testament to the beauty of Massachusetts and the wealth of tourist attractions and activities in every region of the Commonwealth.”

The state added 3,000 new tourism jobs in 2015 for a total workforce of 135,000, an increase of 2.3% from the previous year, Ash said.

Travelers to Massachusetts in 2015 generated $20.2 billion in direct spending, mainly on transportation, lodging, food services, retail sales, entertainment and recreation, an increase of 3.8% from 2014.  In addition, they generated $1.3 billion in state and local taxes in 2015, an increase of 7.3% from the previous year. State and local tax revenues include taxes on hotel rooms, gasoline, food and other items.

“While visitor spending has increased incrementally each year since 2007, our market share has remained flat domestically and has only increased slightly internationally,” said Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development and International Trade.  “Our challenge in the coming years is to ensure that Massachusetts increases its market share in an extremely competitive tourism environment.”

In 2015, domestic travelers increased to 25.8 million, 8% more than 2014, while Canadian visitors topped 700,000.  The most dramatic increase was in the overseas visitors market, which increased by 13% to 1.7 million, according to the U.S. Travel Association and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“With more international direct air service than ever, Massachusetts continues to attract overseas visitors from around the world,” said Francois-Laurent Nivaud, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism.  “In 2015 and so far in 2016, fifteen new non-stop air routes have launched in and out of Boston’s Logan International Airport, bringing the total of international direct flights to 53.”

MOTT’s mission is to promote Massachusetts as both a leisure and business travel destination for domestic and international markets and to contribute to the growth of the Commonwealth’s economy. MOTT works closely with 16 regional tourism councils across the state, and with larger tourism alliances such as Discover New England and BrandUSA.

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