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                                                                                                                      May 2020

Dear MOTT Partners,
We kick off the month of May with National Travel Week (May 3-9), an annual celebration of America’s travel and tourism industry. Now more than ever, the travel and tourism community must come together, support each other, and remind our country that even through the most difficult times, the Spirit of Travel and the Spirit of Massachusetts cannot be broken.
We are celebrating ArtWeek (May 1-10) virtually across the Commonwealth as an annual event that underscores the value of arts and culture in Massachusetts.
The Baker-Polito Administration is working with industry partners on a Reopening Advisory Board that will recommend strategies to reopen the economy in phases based on health and safety metrics.  We’ll keep you informed of all updates.  
For now, please stay safe and healthy as we battle through this pandemic.  Thank you for your partnership, diligence, and pride in Massachusetts’ travel and tourism community.


Keiko Matsudo Orrall
Executive Director



MOTT Contacts:

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

John Alzapiedi, Web Manager,

Phyllis Cahaly, Director of Partnership Marketing,

Tony D’Agostino, Research Director,

Daniela De Caro-Heavey, Special Projects Manager,

Keiko Matsudo Orrall, Executive Director,

Michael Quinlin, Executive Director, Commonwealth Marketing Office

Maria Speridakos, Director of International PR,

Marc Zappulla, Grants Coordinator,



COVID-19 Resources & News:

  • Nonessential businesses are closed in Massachusetts until May 18. Here is a list of updated COVID-19 Essential Services categories for businesses and organizations permitted to operate brick & mortar facilities at this time.
  • The Department of Public Health’s (DPH) stay-at-home advisory remains in effect. Residents are strongly urged to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel and other unnecessary person to person contact during this time period.
  • The Baker-Polito Administration created a Reopening Advisory Board, which is meeting with key stakeholders to develop a report by May 18 that will include DPH approved workplace safety standards, industry frameworks and customer protocols and guidelines, including enforcement mechanisms and coordination with municipal leaders.  See details here.
  • Beginning Wednesday, May 6, Massachusetts is requiring the use of masks or face coverings in public places where people cannot socially distance from others. See details here.
  • All travelers arriving to Massachusetts must self-quarantine for 14 days. See details here

Below is a list of COVID-19 Resources & News:



International Update

The Canadian border remains closed and only Canadians citizens and Canadian permanent residents are currently allowed into the country. Air Canada plans to resume service to the U.S. May 22 (Montreal to Boston to resume one flight per day and Toronto to Boston with two flights per day as of May 22. Halifax and Ottawa suspended until May 31), subject to any further government restrictions beyond that date and AC has suspended most international flights outside of the U.S. until June. Air Transat and Sunwing are cancelling all trips until May 31 and Porter Airlines has pushed back its temporary suspension of flights by four weeks, with flights set to resume on June 29. Westjet will likely resume Toronto to Boston service on June 8.VoX International 
The German Federal Foreign Office has extended border controls until May 14, has banned non-EU travel until at least mid-June and warns against unnecessary tourist trips abroad until at least June 14, 2020.’ Source: German Interior Ministry & German Federal Foreign Office & German Federal Police 

DER Touristik, TUI and FTI are following the global travel warning issued by the Federal Foreign Office and are suspending international travel until June 14. Source: TRVL Counter 

Canusa Touristik has launched a series of early booking offers for 2021. For example, customers save 15 % on a two-week motorhome trip from/to Los Angeles. Source: lifePR (press release) – Marketing Services International GmbH

Given the evolution of the health crisis and the latest developments and decisions regarding travel restrictions, the SETO (Tour Operators Union) has again met with the main tour operators operating on the French market and it recommends to its members the postponement of all departures until May 29, after having already postponed the date three times. This recommendation may change at any time depending on the evolution of the situation and in the interests of customers, travel agencies and tour operators, also said the union. – Express Conseil 
Japan restarted too early and experienced a recurrence of COVID19.  The country went back into a lock down until May 8.  The total number of new cases peaked on April 1 and has been on decline since then.  Japan National Tourism Council announced that they will provide financial support to travel companies for their loss.  JATA (Japan Association of Travel Agents) is planning a tourism recovery campaign.  Travel companies are starting to book tours to certain overseas countries including the US beginning July 1. – Global Consulting 
Many travel agencies have no or limited sales these days. The booking period has been shortened and the agencies see an interest for the winter season instead of the summer season, as a lot of things are still uncertain for summer, such as the opening of borders and the situation in the rest of the world.  Travel agencies experience an interest for the near markets, such as Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland, and the international markets and travel are still characterized with a lot of uncertainty.  
While travel agencies are not expecting new bookings in the coming weeks, Danish tour operator USA Rejser and MyPlanet prepares for a change in demand and amend package tours to focus on nature, national parks and self-drive tours by car and RV in California and Florida. – Atlantic Link



Industry News

National Travel Week

National Travel Week (May 3-9) is an annual way for America’s travel and tourism professionals to take pride in our industry and to celebrate the value travel holds for the economy, businesses and personal well-being. This year, the COVID-19 emergency is having an unprecedented impact on the travel industry and the entire economy. Now more than ever, the travel and tourism community must come together, support each other and remind our country that even through the most difficult times, the Spirit of Travel and the Spirit of Massachusetts cannot be broken.
As part of National Travel Week, the U.S. Travel Association is coordinating a #VirtualRoadTrip initiative today, so tourism destinations and businesses across the country can share a positive virtual message on social media. All 50 states are participating, and the Massachusetts time slot is this morning from 10:30 – 10:45 a.m.  Expect to see wonderful scenes and materials from around the state throughout the day and especially for our 15 minutes of fame. Destinations, businesses and even residents can get involved by joining the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #VirtualRoadTrip. Feel free to share with your colleagues, partners and staff to join in as well to make sure your destination is highlighted during the scheduled stop in Massachusetts.
North of Boston CVB Roundtable Discussions 
North of Boston CVB is celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week by hosting industry conversations every day from 4 -5 p.m. Please feel free to register through the links below or contact Executive Director, Ann Marie Casey for more information.

#ArtWeekAtHome is the reimagined format replacing the original ArtWeek, an annual celebration featuring hundreds of creative events in over 170 communities across the Commonwealth.  This year, #ArtWeekAtHome will post links on social media to online content including tours, concerts, at-home activities, or other creative programs while tagging #ArtWeekAtHome and @ArtWeekMA.  See details here
Massachusetts Arts & Culture Bulletin  
The 16 Regional Tourism Councils have a very creative addition in their Massachusetts Arts & Culture Bulletin this month. #PostcardsFromMA features beautiful views showcasing that their favorite Massachusetts destination is "thinking of them" during this time.  Thanks to Kristen Mitchell Hughes of the Cape Cod Chamber for pulling together this wonderful idea.  
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 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. 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. 
Mass Lodging 
Follow the Massachusetts Lodging Association for updates, information and resources on this important Massachusetts hospitality industry. 
50 Great Things to do Under $50
MOTT’s ’50 Under $50’ special deals page is consistently ranked as one of our Top 5 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 $50 must cover: two adults only and/or two adults with two children age 12 and under. We are currently accepting ’50 Under $50’ offers for July/August and September/October. Please send your offers for consideration to:  Phyllis M. Cahaly
The Big E
Save the date for the 2020 Big E Celebration 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.



By the Numbers

COVID-19 Infographic Related to the Massachusetts Tourism Industry:






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