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October 2019

Dear Colleagues,  
Foliage tours, cultural events, regattas on the Charles River and Halloween hijinks create the perfect motif for visitors coming to Massachusetts this time of year.  In October 2018 we welcomed 3 million domestic and international visitors, representing 10% of our 31 million visitors.  Read full details on Massachusetts’ 2018 visitation and spending data below.

This month the new Restaurant Promotion Commission meets on October 15 to examine how best to promote the growth and vitality of our restaurant industry.

In our MA Spotlight, we are pleased to profile Kathy Abbott, president and CEO of Boston Harbor Now, a terrific organization that promotes the 34 islands in Boston Harbor to residents and visitors alike.  

Thank you for working with MOTT and our partners to promote Massachusetts as a top destination for leisure and business travel.


 Keiko Matsudo Orrall
 Executive Director



Industry Spotlight
Kathy Abbott

Harbor Guardian
MOTT speaks with Boston Harbor Now President and CEO Kathy Abbott about BHN’s stewardship role in promoting and protecting the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park...Read more. 



International News

International Media Results
MOTT is happy to share with you journalist Elena Barassi’s article in GQ Italia about fall foliage in the Berkshires. Thank you to all who participated and hosted GQ Italia this past summer for a press visit!
Aer Lingus Irish Roadshow — February 11-14, 2020
Discover New England and MOTT invite you to participate in the 2020 Aer Lingus roadshow this February 11 – 14, 2020.  This annual, four-city travel agent roadshow is for U.S. destinations with direct service to Ireland on Aer Lingus.  The roadshow visits the key cities of Belfast, Dublin, Limerick and Cork.

Ireland remains a priority market for Massachusetts, which maintains 5% of market share to the U.S. and has direct service to Boston Logan International Airport.  Western Massachusetts is easily accessible as well, with direct service from Dublin to Bradley International Airport in Hartford, CT. Join the Discover New England delegates as they meet face to face with travel trade in this important international market.

Cost to attend: $1,500 per delegate. Travel expenses are on own. Please contact Lori Harnois at Discover New England for more details.
IPW 2020 – May 30 – June 3, 2020
IPW, the leading international inbound travel trade show for U.S. destinations, takes place this year in Las Vegas, Nevada from May 30-June 3, 2020. In 2020, IPW will have more than 1,300 exhibitor booths held by U.S. suppliers of USA travel products and destinations and more than 6,200 attendees, including 1,300 international and domestic travel buyers and 500 journalists representing more than 70 countries.

Early bird rates for registration end on November 22, 2019.
If you are interested in participating as a delegate in the Massachusetts booth at IPW, or are planning to have a booth of your own, please contact Annie Moloney.



By the Numbers

2018 Tourism Visitation & Spending Hits Record-High in Massachusetts
The travel and tourism industry in Massachusetts had a record-setting performance in 2018. Numbers released by the U.S. Travel Association and the U.S. Department of Commerce indicate that in calendar year 2018, the Commonwealth welcomed 31 million domestic and international visitors who spent $24.2 billion, a 5.6% increase of $1.3 billion over 2017. This spending generated $1.6 billion in combined state and local taxes for Massachusetts and its municipalities, an increase of 5.1% from 2017. Read the full release here.  

Lodging Data for U.S. & Massachusetts: August 2019 vs. August 2018

  • The Occupancy Rate across the U.S. for August 2019 (71.4%) decreased by 0.04% compared to August 2018. The Occupancy Rate in MA (80.0%) decreased by 1.90%, compared to August 2018.
  • In the U.S., Rooms Sold grew by 2.0% to 118.5 million. Rooms Sold in MA totaled 2.2 million, an increase of 0.2%.
  • The Average Daily Rate in MA of $209.28 in August, 2019 was a 0.2% decrease.  Across the U.S., ADR growth was 0.9% to $132.47.
  • Revenue Per Available Room (RevPar) decreased by 2.0% in MA to $167.50. However, there was growth in RevPar in the U.S. of 0.9% to $94.55.
  • Room Revenue in MA totaled $465.0 million, down slightly from August 2018. In the U.S., Room Revenue grew by 2.9% to $15.7 billion.

Lodging Data for U.S. & Massachusetts: Calendar year to date August 2019 vs. August 2018

  • From January to August 2019, the Occupancy Rate across the U.S. (67.6%) increased by 0.1% compared to the same period in 2018. The Occupancy Rate in MA decreased by 1.7% to 69.3% over the same periods.
  • Rooms Sold in the U.S. totaled 869.9 million, an increase of 2.1%. The MA Rooms Sold increased by 0.7% to 14.5 million.
  • The Average Daily Rate (ADR) in MA of $189.03 was a 2.0% increase, which was more than the U.S. ADR growth of 1.1% to $131.95.
  • Revenue Per Available Room (RevPar) increased by 0.3% in MA to $130.97, and underperformed the 1.2% growth (to $89.24) in the U.S.
  • Room Revenue in MA totaled $2.7 billion, up 2.7%. Across the U.S., Room Revenue was up 3.2% to $114.8 billion.



Industry News

The Big E Breaks All-Time Attendance Record

MOTT Executive Director Keiko Matsudo Orrall presents the Massachusetts Day
Proclamation to Donna Woolam of Eastern States Exposition

The 2019 Eastern States Exposition, better known as THE BIG E, broke all attendance records with a whopping 1,629,527 visitors and the all-time highest single day attendance on Saturday, September 21 with 176,544 visitors. Massachusetts Day, September 19, broke another record with 85,698 visitors.
The Massachusetts Building celebrated its 100th Anniversary as Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito rededicated the building on Monday, September 16.  A BIG thank you to the Regional Tourism Councils and staff for volunteering daily at the MOTT Visitor Information Booth. The 17-day fair is America’s only multi-state fair celebrating the rich history, culture, tourism, education and traditions of the six New England states. Next year’s dates are September 18 through October 4, 2020.
Cultural Facilities Fund’s FY20 Application
The FY20 grant cycle of the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF) opens on October 11, 2019. Co-managed by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and MassDevelopment, the CFF provides grants to support the acquisition, design, repair, rehabilitation, renovation, expansion, or construction of nonprofit cultural facilities statewide. CFF’s goal is to increase investments from both the public and private sector to support the sound planning and development of cultural facilities. All grants from the Fund have a 1:1 cash match requirement.

Nonprofit cultural organizations, municipalities and colleges or universities that own cultural facilities are eligible to apply.  More details about eligibility and key deadlines are available here.
DNE’s NYC Receptive Event  
Discover New England is hosting a receptive event in New York City on Wednesday, November 13, 2019. The event is an evening networking reception where New England industry can meet New York/New Jersey/Massachusetts-based international tour and receptive operators. Approximately 60 operators are expected to attend. New England industry will have a small table space to present/display brochures. 

Cost to attend: $400 per person (2nd person from the same company will be $250) - plus travel, hotel and personal expenses.

Time: 4 p.m. set-up, event from 5 to 8 p.m.

Location: Atlantica Yacht at Chelsea Pier New York

If you have any questions about the event, or would like to signup, please contact
Check here for more information about upcoming trade shows and mission.

Plymouth 400’s Opening Ceremony
Plymouth 400’s opening ceremony on April 24, 2020 will feature historical content, musical headliners, interpretive readings, choreographed movement, original productions, and visual narratives to create this once-in-a-lifetime spectacle.

Click here to learn more about daily activities, events, lectures and displays posted on the Calendar of Events.



Travel News

Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) has initiated “Logan Forward,” a communication campaign to inform passengers, employees and tenants about construction projects taking place at Boston Logan International Airport in the months ahead. Details here.



Industry Calendar

Restaurant Promotion Commission – October 15 
The first meeting of the Restaurant Promotion Commission takes place from 2-4 p.m. at the Massachusetts State House, Room 437. 



Massachusetts Film Office
For a schedule of film festivals in Massachusetts this month and throughout the year, visit


Massachusetts Sports Marketing Office
We are compiling the Top Sporting Events in Massachusetts for 2020.  Please send your recommendations to Michael Quinlin.  View the 2019 compilation



MOTT Bulletin Board
FREE means FREE!
With so many amazing free things to do in Massachusetts, we created a FREE category listing in our online calendar of events at Now, you can add your organization’s cost-free events to MOTT’s year-round calendars. Just visit and click on ‘submit your listing’ on the bottom of the homepage. With questions, please reach out to John Alzapiedi
50 Great Things to do Under $50
MOTT’s ‘50 Great Things to do Under $50’ is consistently ranked as one of our most visited web pages each month. To list a special deal offered by your organization, the offer must be valid for a two-month duration and the admission of under $50 must cover either: two adults separately or two adults with two children 12 and under. We are currently accepting ’50 Under $50’ submissions for January/February and March/April 2020. Please send your offers for consideration to Phyllis M. Cahaly.

*Header Photo: Richmond, MA. by Ogden Gigli Photography