View this email in your browser

December 2019

Dear Colleagues,  

December marks the end of a robust year for travel and tourism in Massachusetts, with visitors from around the world drawn to our culture, history, natural beauty and hospitality.  

You can find details on MOTT’s Winter Holiday activities here.

This month’s MA Spotlight features Mass Convention Center Authority Executive Director David Gibbons, who oversees the Commonwealth’s thriving convention industry from Boston to Springfield.

From all of us at MOTT, we wish you and your families a wonderful Holiday season.  We look forward to working with you in 2020, and remain grateful for your passion, hard work and pride in promoting Massachusetts.


 Keiko Matsudo Orrall
 Executive Director



Industry Spotlight
David Gibbons
Meeting Demands
David Gibbons is executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), whose mission is to generate significant regional economic activity by attracting conventions, tradeshows, and other events to its world-class facilities. We spoke to David about the state of the convention industry heading into 2020...Read more



International News

ITB Berlin – March 4 – 8, 2020
ITB Berlin in Germany is the world’s largest travel and tourism industry show. ITB exhibitors and trade visitors represent all sectors of the international travel and tourism industry: Leisure, Business, Incentive, Meetings and Conventions, Health, Adventure, Education and Study.  Join the Discover New England booth this year for the 3-day trade show to meet directly with tour operators, airlines and media focused on the German market.
Participation Fee: $1,750 – Travel expenses on own
Please contact Lori Harnois for more information.
Sales Mission to Japan & South Korea – April 6-10, 2020
Discover New England will host a sales mission to Tokyo, Japan and Seoul, South Korea. The mission will consist of a mix of in-company trainings and one-on-one appointment style workshops, as well as market briefings and seminar/luncheon for 50 key tour operators. 
Participation fee: $3,000 per person – Travel expenses on own. Limited availability.
Contact Shoko Hirao for more information.
DNE Annual Summit — May 11-12, 2020
Discover New England’s Annual Summit takes place in Bethel, ME in 2020.  DNE is the only New England travel trade event where the region’s hospitality businesses can meet directly with international tour operators and receptive operators who arrange trips for tens of thousands of international travelers annually. These individuals meet with New England tourism representatives from lodging properties, attractions, destination marketing organizations and state tourism offices to learn about travel products, establish relationships and initiate contracts for both group and foreign independent travelers (FIT).
Cost to Attend: Early bird registration is $795 per person and includes all DNE Summit meals and networking events. Early bird Exhibitor registration is $1,195 and includes registration for one person.
As of February 21, 2020, standard rate will be $895 per person and Exhibitor table standard rate will be $1,295 (includes one-person registration).
For more information, please visit:
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 in 2020. IPW expects 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.
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 Daniela De Caro-Heavey.



Awards and Accolades

Order of the Rising Sun Award

MOTT Executive Director Keiko Matsudo Orrall recently received the ‘Order of the Rising Sun’ from the Japanese Government, in recognition of the work she has done to strengthen relations between the United States and Japan. The award comes from the Emperor of Japan and the Prime Minister of Japan. A third-generation Japanese-American, Keiko was the first Asian-American woman elected to the Massachusetts Legislature in the history of the General Court.

Whale Trail Award
MOTT staff celebrates the MERIT Award, presented by the British Guild of Travel Writers International Tourism Awards for the Massachusetts Whale Trail, considered one of 2019’s top new tourism initiatives in the ‘Wider World’ (outside of Europe) category.  Read more about the award here

Nobnocket Boutique Inn
Martha's Vineyard Hotel, Nobnocket Boutique Inn has become the first Martha's Vineyard property to win a Condé Nast Johansens Award for Excellence. The hotel received the "Best Small & Exclusive Property 2020" Excellence Award for North America, Mexico and Caribbean. Nobnocket Boutique Inn joined the Boston Harbor Hotel as the only New England winners in this year's awards.

Massachusetts a Top Destination in 2020
Massachusetts is featured as a destination in Rough Guides list of their 20 best places to travel to in 2020! Find the link here.



By the Numbers

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

  • The Occupancy Rate across the U.S. for October 2019 (69.3%) decreased by 0.8% compared to October 2018. The Occupancy Rate in MA (76.6%) decreased by 5.7% compared to October 2018.
  • In the U.S., Rooms Sold grew by 1.3% to 115.1 million. Rooms Sold in MA totaled 2.1 million, a decrease of 2.8%.
  • The Average Daily Rate in the U.S. of $133.34 in October 2019 was a 0.5% decrease. In MA, ADR decreased 4.0% to $205.85.
  • Revenue Per Available Room (RevPar) decreased by 1.2% in the U.S. to $92.35. While in MA there was a decline in RevPar of 9.6% to $157.67.
  • Room Revenue in the U.S. totaled $15.4 billion, up 0.8% from October 2018. In MA, Room Revenue decreased by 6.7% to $440.0 million.

Lodging Data U.S. & MA: CYTD October 2019 vs. October 2018 

  • From January through October of CY 2019, the Occupancy Rate across the U.S. (67.8%) decreased 0.1% compared to the same in 2018. The Occupancy Rate in MA (70.7%) decreased by 2.4% over the same periods.
  • Rooms Sold in the U.S. totaled 1.1 billion, an increase of 1.9%. The MA Rooms Sold total increased by 0.1% to 18.7 million.
  • The Average Daily Rate (ADR) in the U.S. of $132.07 was a 0.9% increase, which was less than the MA ADR growth of 1.2% to $193.09.
  • Revenue Per Available Room (RevPar) increased by 0.8% in the U.S to$ 89.50, and outperformed the 1.2% decline to $136.60 in MA.
  • Room Revenue across the U.S. totaled $144.4 billion, up 2.8%. While in MA, Room Revenue was up 1.3% to $ 3.6 billion.



Industry News

Partnerships for Growth 
On December 13, the Baker-Polito Administration released its new economic development plan Partnerships for Growth, which lays out a strategy for addressing opportunities and challenges around housing, business, and workforce in their regional contexts.  More information here.
ArtWeek – May 1 – 10, 2020
ArtWeek 2020 takes place from May 1–10.  The award-winning statewide festival is presented by Highland Street Foundation and produced by the Boch Center. Last year, it featured more than 600 unique activities in 130 communities, and 70% of all events were free. ArtWeek spotlights the creative economy in Massachusetts, offering unique and affordable neighborhood-based events that provide increased access to art, culture, and creativity. To learn more about the festival and this year’s activities, visit
Massachusetts Readies for Plymouth 400
Massachusetts is inviting the world to visit the Bay State in 2020 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony, two historic events that helped shape the United States of America. More information here.

MassDOT Highway Marker Project 
Beginning in summer 2020, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is implementing the State Exit Renumbering Project, which will convert all existing exit numbers on freeways to a mile-based numbering system, per the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requirements.  MassDOT is holding public information meetings to discuss this project.  More information here.



Travel News

New International Flight 
A new seasonal summer direct service between Boston-Calgary begins in June 2020 on Air Canada.  More information here.
AAA Predicts Record Holiday Road Travel
AAA reports that 115.6 million travelers will take to the road in December for holiday travel.  More information here.



Industry Calendar

Upcoming Restaurant Promotion Commission Meetings
January 6, 2020
10:00 a.m.- Noon

Holyoke Community College’s MGM Culinary Arts Institute
164 Race Street
Holyoke, MA
January 28, 2020
Middlesex Community College’s Academic Arts Center
10:00 a.m.- Noon
240 Central Street
Lowell, MA  
Comments for the Restaurant Promotion Commission’s consideration can be submitted here.



Massachusetts Film Office

Little Women
(Keiko Orrall and MA Film Office Director Lisa Strout celebrate “Little Women Day” on December 18 at the Prescott House in Boston)

The Massachusetts Film Office and its partners throughout the Commonwealth worked closely with Sony Pictures on the upcoming film Little Women, opening on Christmas Day in movie theaters around the country. The 2019 film is an adaptation written and directed by Greta Gerwig, of the 19th century novel by noted Massachusetts writer Louisa May Alcott.

The MA Film Office created an attractive Massachusetts Film Location Map, a self-guided tour for Little Women fans, which identifies the locations in Boston, Concord, Lawrence, Ipswich, Groton, Harvard, Waltham, Canton, and Stoughton. More information here.



Massachusetts Sports Marketing Office
It’s Official – Welcome WooSox!
The Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox (formerly the PawSox) has officially moved to Worcester and will be known as the WooSox. The WooSox are scheduled to open their first season in April 2021 at Polar Park in Worcester. More information here.



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 March/April and May/June 2020. Please send your offers for consideration to Phyllis M. Cahaly.

*Header image: Ice skating, Worthington; photo by Lynn Graves