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                                                                                                                     June 2020

Dear MOTT Partners,
 
Massachusetts is currently in phase one of a four-phase plan to safely reopen the economy, get people back to work, and ease social restrictions while minimizing the health impacts of COVID-19.  Please stay up to date on the latest Massachusetts news by checking the COVID-19 links below, and don’t hesitate to contact me or any of the MOTT staff with questions or comments.
 
For now, our tourism and hospitality community is working hard to adapt to the new normal, and making plans for the future, when Massachusetts is able to welcome travelers back.  During this time, we value our partners and collaborators more than ever.
 
Please stay safe and healthy as we battle through this pandemic.  Thank you for your diligence, optimism and pride in Massachusetts’ travel and tourism community.

Sincerely,

Keiko Matsudo Orrall
Executive Director

 

 

Massachusetts Reopening News

  • The Baker-Polito Administration has issued Reopening Massachusetts, a comprehensive plan to safely reopening the Massachusetts economy, get people back to work, and ease social restrictions while minimizing the health impacts of COVID-19. Download the Reopening Report here





  • Here is information on the next round of reopening, issued as an Executive Order for Phase II  by the Governor’s Office on June 1, 2020.  



  • The Administration has issued workplace safety standards for restaurants and lodging. These workplace specific safety standards are organized around four distinct categories covering Social Distancing, Hygiene Protocols, Staffing and Operations and Cleaning and Disinfecting.



  • Outdoor dining will begin at the start of Phase II. Indoor dining will begin later within Phase II, subject to public health data. Even when indoor seating is permitted, use of outdoor space will be encouraged for all restaurants.



  • Social distancing guidance includes spacing tables six feet apart with a maximum party size of six people. The use of bars, except for spaced table seating, will not be permitted. For hygiene protocols, utensils and menus should be kept clean through single use or with strict sanitation guidelines, reservations or call ahead seating is recommended and contactless payment, mobile ordering or text on arrival for seating will also be encouraged.



  • Restaurants will be expected to follow cleaning and disinfecting guidelines, in accordance with CDC guidance. This includes closing an establishment temporarily if there is a case of COVID-19 in an establishment. 



 

 

International Update

Here are brief market updates from MOTT’s international representatives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:
 
CANADA– VoX International

  • Canada currently has 86,939 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases with the majority of cases in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. 
  • Plans for gradually reopening businesses and recreational activities vary by province and territory but all Canadians must implement social distancing efforts, staying two meters apart. 
  • The Canadian border remains closed until June 21 and Air Canada will resume service from Boston to Montreal on June 22 with WestJet under suspension until June 30 and Porter Airlines until July 29. Air passengers are now required to wear non-medical masks and all incoming travelers must present a plan to self-isolate.  

UNITED KINGDOM– Travel and Tourism Marketing (TTM) Ltd.

  • From the onset of Covid-19, the UK representative office constructed a plan ensuring that Massachusetts stayed relevant, on trend, informed, responsive and fluid.  We listened, with a clear mission; to provide travel trade and media partners with the tools to stay connected with their audiences.  We adopted a soft, preferred and appreciated approach to product and story lines in preparation for the pent-up demand.  e.g. Response to our TTM training program. “I wanted to thank you for the training of Massachusetts.  We are always looking for new ideas and ways to increase awareness so having you here is invaluable.”
  • Working closely with media, providing travel inspiration with a focus on wellbeing, nature and open spaces, as they start to encourage travel planning for Q4 2020 and 2021.  Providing stories with positive messaging is as important as factual content, with consumers wanting reassurance and destinations that speaks to their emotional connection to travel.
  • As the market emerges, we are seeing green shoots, with the UK predicted to be one of the first to return to travel to the US in significant number.  Consumers are engaging, planning and choosing to rebook over cancelling.  Support of the market during the crisis has been noted, used, resourced and appreciated, keeping Massachusetts in a prominent position for the return to travel. 

GERMANY– Marketing Services International GmbH

  • Germany is doing well and moving nicely out of this crisis.  Only less than 6% of the total infected people currently remain active - more than 94% of all cases have been solved.
  • Most lockdown measures have been lifted and shop, stores and restaurants are open again. Most hotels will open in June and Germany is looking at allowing unrestricted travel to 31 countries in Europe as of July 1. 
  • Lufthansa will receive a German government support of up to 9 billion Euro - well over 10 billion US$ - in order to keep them alive and competitive. 

IRELAND– TTM Ireland

  • Following the introduction of a Five-Stage Plan to gradually lift lockdown restrictions by August, Ireland is starting to see some very tentative but encouraging signs for future recovery. 
  • A new government initiative is in place to guarantee travel agency and tour operator credit notes, which will enhance consumer confidence in the industry, with feedback from the trade indicating that rebookings are being made for 2021. 
  • In its latest economic forecast, the European Commission sees the Irish economy growing strongly by 6% in 2021, which will facilitate demand for travel to the US.   

FRANCE– Express Conseil

  • 90% of the French respondents to a survey by the Visit USA committee are willing to travel again to the USA once the pandemic crisis is over (41% aiming in 2021) and close to 30% are interested in the Eastern USA (Boston, New York…)
  • Airlines are starting to gradually resume flights, but we will have to wait until the beginning of June to know the flight schedule for this summer, a much-awaited decision for tourism professionals.
  • Historical support for French tourism sector: the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations will play a crucial role in the recovery plan by committing 1.6 billion euros in the sector, via its Banque des Territoires and Bpifrance, in order to contribute to strengthen the financial situation of companies. 

ITALY– Thema Nuovi Mondi

  • Beginning May 4, Italy stepped into the Phase #2 with the opening of major economic activities and announcement of opening of airports by June 3. The travel industry is waiting for the airline sector to present new rescheduled flights, although AA and UA have already announced they won't fly in/out of Italian airports for the entire summer season and will resume their routes as of Mid-October 2020. Alitalia and other carriers will possibly operate as of July 2020. 
  • The trade is still very active with webinars and trainings, and some of them still have New England Fall Foliage tours and bookings for October 2020 in their agenda. 

JAPAN– Global Consulting 

  • Stay home order has been lifted from prefectures (states) throughout Japan since mid-May. Tokyo is the last prefecture and will be 100% lifted on June 19. Tokyo has been opening venues by phases.  Restaurants opened fully on May 25, and museums, libraries, and retail stores opened on May 27. Tour companies began their operation on May 25 with 50% of their employees. All schools in Japan will re-start on June 1 (FYI summer vacation doesn't start in Japan till the end of July).
  • JATA (Japan Association of Travel Agents) will be holding a webinar to all tour planners on June 1.  MOTT has 30 minutes for our presentation. Brand USA Tokyo is also planning a webinar in June.
  • Current confirmed cases in all of Japan are 16,609.  

SCANDINAVIA– Atlantic Link

  • For the Scandinavian market, there is a big difference from Sweden compared to Norway, Denmark and Finland. Sweden has remained more or less open throughout the entire period – with precautions such as social distancing etc. In the meantime, Norway, Denmark and Finland have been locked down, and are now slowly opening up again, phase by phase. Traveling is still not possible as most borders remain closed. Norway have claimed to have their borders closed until August 20, Denmark has adjusted some of the rules, and are under heavily pressure from neighboring countries such as Germany and Sweden in terms of opening up to visitors.
  • All Scandinavian travel agencies are suffering financially and are negotiating loans from governments in order to survive the summer. Scandinavian travel agency organizations are discussing with the government if they can introduce vouchers, as many airlines have done. Staycation is the trend this summer – travel will be domestically or regional in the other Scandinavian countries + Germany. 
  • Icelandair has decided to resume operations Keflavik-Boston – one of only three active routes. Their routes to Philadelphia, Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver and Portland will not be operating this season.

 

 

Industry News

Congrats Kristie Ferrantella

 
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The Nantucket Chamber of Commerce has confirmed that Kristie Ferrantella is now the permanent president/CEO of the Chamber.  She had previously been acting as interim president since January 30, 2020. 
 
A native of Nantucket, Kristie has worked at the Chamber since 2018 and brings a diverse set of statistical, economics, mathematics and research skills to her new position.  Chamber Chairman Burt Rice said the Chamber is confident that Ferrantella “will take the Chamber to a whole new level that is all about local businesses and our support for them.” 
 
Congrats Monique M. Messier


https://www.massvacation.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Monique.jpg

On June 1, The Board of Directors for Discover Central Massachusetts confirmed the appointment of Monique M. Messier as the new executive director of the region’s travel and tourism organization.
 
Monique has extensive experience in the hospitality industry, serving most recently as director of sales for Discover Central Massachusetts over the past year.  She has held sales positions at the Worcester Marriott, Sheraton Hotel Springfield and Nantucket Island Resorts. Monique has also done sales work for MassMutual Center, MGM Casino and Greater Springfield CVB.
 
“I’m very excited to be leading the Discover Central MA team,” Messier said. “Tourism is such an important part of a thriving economy and has been a large part of Worcester’s recent economic momentum. Recently, with the pandemic and the devastation it has caused in our industry, it is imperative that we continue to push out our message now more than ever.” 
 
Plymouth 400 Advisory Commission
 
Plymouth 400, Inc., the Massachusetts-based nonprofit which has been planning commemorative events surrounding the Pilgrims landing in Plymouth in 1620, has issued new event plans and ongoing legacy projects.  Read details here.
Dusty Rhodes, chair of the Plymouth 400 Commission, wrote in a letter to Commission members, “We commend Plymouth 400 for all their years of hard work and planning, and thank them heartily for their tenacity, resolve, and their important commitment to all of the cultures, and constituencies.”
 
#PostcardsfromMA 
 
The Arts & Culture Bulletin, published monthly by the Massachusetts Regional Tourism Councils, has extended its #PostcardsfromMA campaign through June to showcase the scenic vistas, gorgeous coastline, historical trails & landmarks, bike & nature paths and glorious gardens that await visitors when the time is right to visit Massachusetts. 

Massachusetts Celebrates Women Trailblazers

MOTT has posted its Historic Women Trailblazers digital page to celebrate the achievement of women in the Commonwealth.  This initiative marks the 100th anniversary 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.  
 
MOTT Online Virtual Tours and or Outdoor Opportunities
 
Massvacation.com has a Virtual Massachusetts page for visitors who want to enjoy virtual tours, interactive sites and beautiful images of Massachusetts from afar.  To add virtual tours to this page, please contact John Alzapiedi. Massvacation.com has a list over 50 places across the Bay State offering at home virtual experiences and we would love to highlight tours in your area. 
 
The Big E

Save the date for the 2020 Big E scheduled for September 18 through October 4, 2020. The Big E, held annually at The Eastern States Exposition Fairground is billed as “New England’s Great State Fair,” and is the largest agricultural event on the eastern seaboard and the 6th largest fair in the nation. The 2019 fair set an all-time historic attendance record of 1,629,527! Come see what’s new at The Big E this fall. 
 
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 massvacation.com. Now, you can add your organization’s cost-free events to MOTT’s year-round calendars. Just click on ‘submit your listing’ on the bottom of the homepage, and follow the prompts.

 

 

COVID-19 Resources & News

For ongoing perspective on Massachusetts initiatives visit Massitsallhere.com  And if you're looking to add a 'good news' story, there's this: Massachusetts' Bald Eagles Numbers Soar in 2020

 

 

MOTT Contacts

MA Office of Travel and Tourism staffers are working remotely, see contact information:

John Alzapiedi, Web Manager, john.alzapiedi@mass.gov

Phyllis Cahaly, Director of Partnership Marketing, phyllis.cahaly@mass.gov

Tony D’Agostino, Research Director, tony.dagostino@mass.gov

Daniela De Caro-Heavey, Special Projects Manager, daniela.decaro@mass.gov

Keiko Matsudo Orrall, Executive Director, keiko.m.Orrall@mass.gov

Michael Quinlin, Executive Director, Commonwealth Marketing Office michael.quinlin@mass.gov

Maria Speridakos, Director of International PR, maria.speridakos@mass.gov

Marc Zappulla, Grants Coordinator, Marc.Zappulla@mass.gov

 

 

By the Numbers


COVID-19 Infographic Related to the Massachusetts Tourism Industry:

https://mcusercontent.com/b017acf930ce6099f0769309c/images/a58faff9-35a1-4605-8562-8b14f1de8d46.png

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