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January 2020

Dear Colleagues,  

On behalf of the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, Happy New Year to our tourism colleagues around the world, as we embark on an exciting new year and a new decade here in Massachusetts. We are looking forward to a busy and productive year. 
In-state initiatives on our horizon include Plymouth 400, the Restaurant Promotion Commission, a new Historic Women Trailblazers of Massachusetts initiative in honor of the 100th anniversary of the right to vote for women, and a major exhibit on King Tut coming to Boston in June.
On MOTT’s international front, we have trade opportunities in Germany, Japan and South Korea in the coming months, as well as two of our most important tourism conferences, DNE and IPW. 
In this month’s MA Spotlight, we profile Concord Museum’s Marketing & PR Director Carol Thistle, who shares details about exciting new exhibits coming up in 2020.
Thanks for working with us to make Massachusetts a premier travel destination.


 Keiko Matsudo Orrall
 Executive Director



Industry Spotlight
Carol Thistle
Concord - The Crossroads of American History
This month our MA Spotlight features Concord Museum’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations Carol Thistle, who talks to us about the upcoming exhibit on Paul Revere, an exhibit on famous Concord women, and the museum’s new Education Center...Read more



International Opportunities

International Familiarization Tour Assistance Request
Check-In: Tuesday, April 21  Check-Out: Thursday, April 23
Needs: 10 hosted rooms (1 hotel) x 2 nights & hosted meals
Region: Boston # Participants: 10 (8 Travel Agents/Tour Operators, 2 Escorts – 1 Iceland Air/1 Atlantic Link)
FAM Background: Scandinavia is one of Massachusetts’ top international origin markets. Icelandair Sweden, in co-op with Atlantic Link, would like to organize a group trade FAM to Massachusetts in spring 2020. Participants will be a mix of leisure / corporate agencies. The tentative target invite list includes: Egencia, Amex (HRG), Arrive Agencies, BCD, CWT, Resia, Ticket. The primary receptives used in Scandinavia are Allied TPro, New World Travel and Expedia. The group will be accompanied by two escorts with Iceland Air/Atlantic Link.
If your hotel and/or restaurant wants to host this travel trade group, contact Maria Speridakos. Thank you for your support.
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
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, 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. 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, contact Daniela De Caro-Heavey.



Industry News

Massachusetts Celebrates Women Trailblazers
In 2020, MOTT is creating an Historic Women Trailblazers of Massachusetts initiative to mark the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allowing women the right to vote, and the 200th anniversary of Massachusetts native and women’s rights leader Susan B. Anthony.  Stay tuned for more details.
King Tut Returns to Boston
For the first time since 1963, the acclaimed exhibit, King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh exhibit, returns to Boston from June 13-December 31, 2020 at The Castle, Boston Park Plaza Hotel.  Presented by IMG in association with Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities, King Tut features 150 authentic artifacts from the tomb of Tutankhamun, many on display for the first time outside of Egypt.
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.

Lori Harnois is New Hampshire’s New Tourism Director
Congratulations to Lori Harnois, executive director of the six-state Discover New England tourism collaborative, who becomes the new director of New Hampshire’s Division of Travel & Tourism Development beginning January 31, 2020.  More information here.



Travel News

  • Ultra low-cost carrier Allegiant Air is launching new direct service from Boston’s Logan International Airport to four American cities, including Grand Rapids, MI, Asheville, NC, Knoxville, TN and Destin/Ft. Walton Beach, FL starting in May 2020.  Details here.  
  • American Airlines announced a new direct service between Boston and Austin, TX beginning in April 2020.  Details here.
  • Boston Air Canada and WestJet announced new direct service between Boston and Calgary, Canada in spring 2020
  • Massport ended the 2019 season at Flynn Cruiseport Boston with another record season, serving 402,000+ passengers and 138 cruise ships.  Details here.



Industry Calendar

January 22
Cape Cod Travel & Tourism Industry Forum
Hyannis Golf Club
Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce presents 2020 tourism-marketing programs, and MOTT Research Director Tony D’Agostino presents recent tourism data. 
January 24-25
Municipal Annual Meeting
Hynes Convention Center & Sheraton Boston Hotel
The 41st Annual MMA Meeting & Trade Show is the state’s largest gathering of municipal government officials.  
January 28
Restaurant Promotion Commission
The next Restaurant Promotion Commission takes place at Middlesex Community College Academic Arts Center in Lowell from 10 a.m. to Noon.
Comments for the Restaurant Promotion Commission’s consideration can be submitted here.
January 31
North of Boston Tourism Summit
DoubleTree by Hilton Boston North Shore, Danvers
North of Boston CVB’s 14th Annual Summit connects local businesses, visitor destinations, hospitality groups and municipal leaders to discuss tourism in in the region.
February 4
Nashoba Valley Chamber
Nashoba Valley Chamber, Shirley
MOTT Executive Director Keiko Matsudo Orrall is guest speaker at the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce public policy breakfast.



Massachusetts Film Office
The MA Film Office Massachusetts Film Location Map for Little Women is being well received by fans of the movie, which was released on Christmas Day.  The self-guided tour identifies the film locations in Boston, Concord, Lawrence, Ipswich, Groton, Harvard, Waltham, Canton, and Stoughton. Details here.



Massachusetts Sports Marketing Office
The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) is hosting its Season Opening Weekend of games at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro on May 29-30, 2020. Details here.



By the Numbers

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

Note: November 2018 Occupancy and Room Rate values were skewed upward because the gas pipeline crisis created need for emergency housing thus distorting the November 2019 performance comparisons below

  • The Occupancy Rate across the U.S. for November 2019 (61.8%) decreased by 0.3% compared to November 2018. The Occupancy Rate in MA (63.8%) decreased by 7.4% compared to November 2018.
  • In the U.S., Rooms Sold grew by 2.4% to 98.8 million. Rooms Sold in MA totaled 1.6 million, a decrease of 4.8%.
  • The Average Daily Rate in the U.S. of $125.55 in November 2019 was a 1.0% increase. In MA, ADR decreased 6.2% to $169.31.
  • Revenue Per Available Room (RevPar) increased by 1.3% in the U.S. to $77.62. While in MA there was a decline in RevPar of 13.2% to $108.02.
  • Room Revenue in the U.S. totaled $12.4 billion, up 3.4% from November 2018. In MA, Room Revenue decreased by 10.7% to $277.3 million.


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

  • From January through November of CY 2019, the Occupancy Rate across the U.S. (67.2%) decreased 0.1% compared to the same period in 2018. The Occupancy Rate in MA (70.1%) decreased by 2.8% over the same periods.
  • Rooms Sold in the U.S. totaled 1.2 billion, an increase of 2.0%. The MA Rooms Sold total decreased by 0.4% to 20.3 million.
  • The Average Daily Rate (ADR) in the U.S of $131.53 was a 0.9% increase, which was more than the MA ADR growth of 0.7% to $191.21.
  • Revenue Per Available Room (RevPar) increased by 0.8% in the U.S to $ 88.42, and outperformed the 2.1% decline to $134.06 in MA.
  • Room Revenue across the U.S. totaled $156.8 billion, up 2.8%. While in MA, Room Revenue was up 0.3% to $ 3.9 billion.



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

*Header image: Cross-Country Skiing, Worthington; photo by Lynn Graves