Richmond, MA; Ogden Gigli Photography October 2020
Dear MOTT Partners,
Fall foliage, farmers markets, Halloween, new museum exhibits - October is a perfect time to enjoy Massachusetts! As you travel around the Commonwealth this month, please support our small businesses in cities and towns, resort areas, rural villages and farmlands, as well as our museums, visitor attractions and historical sites. Our Main Streets businesses need our support now more than ever.
See important details below on our new MyLocalMA campaign, which runs statewide through December, encouraging residents and visitors to support local businesses and to stay close to home. We are putting our money where our heart is, right here in Massachusetts.
Today, I’d like to make two special requests to our industry partners: Please email the campaign website, findmylocalMA.com, to your constituents and please add the My Local MA logo to your websites. This will be a great help and show your partnership with our efforts.
We are excited about so many sectors working together as Team Massachusetts to ensure a strong and safe reopening. On behalf of all of us here at MOTT, we wish you a safe and productive fall, and thank you as always for your valued partnership.
Keiko Matsudo Orrall
Massachusetts Reopening News
- For the most up-to-date information on Massachusetts, visit the COVID-19 daily update at mass.gov/covid19-updates.
- The Commonwealth is now reporting enhanced community-level data map for cities and towns who are classified as higher risk (red), moderate risk (yellow), or lower risk (green) communities. See map here for frequent updates.
- MOTT's website VisitMA.com has helpful FAQs for visitors coming to Massachusetts.
My Local MA Campaign offers a perfect way to share your experience by using #MyLocalMA on social media. And please, don't forget to #MaskupMA!
If you own or work at a local business, you can help spread the word about the impact that local shops, restaurants, and attractions have on our way of life in Massachusetts. Download the toolkit to get started and do these three things:
1. Hang the flyer in the toolkit in your business
2. Use the logo on social media and on your website
3. Use the #mylocalma (and #maskupma) hashtags in their social media posts
You can participate in this campaign by reaching out to your members, inviting them to visit our website and downloading logos and banners from the website to use in their own business space, website, or social media.
You can find more information and access downloadable badges and resources at FindMyLocalMA.com.
MOTT Media Opportunities
MOTT is preparing its media outreach on Halloween, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving holidays. Please contact Michael Quinlin to share ideas or to get more details.
- Journalist Lynne Houghton’s feature on Plymouth, Cape Cod and the Mayflower was published in The Independent, a UK media outlet that has a strong interest in travel and culture, with 1 in 4 page views being related to these topics. The Independent’s online reach in the UK (monthly) – 33,700,000. The editorial value equivalent of the article is $535,711.
- Also, check out, WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER: Uplifting Community Stories During COVID-19, in Canadian media, which featured the Ice Creamsmith in Dorchester and Phinista Café in Boston, for their community efforts during these trying times.
Request for PR Information for Media Pitching: Theme of Sustainability
Sustainability is a topic of interest to UK media outlets. Has your hotel, restaurant or tourism entity implemented a sustainable program? If so, we’d love to learn more! Please send your tourism entity name and a description of the sustainability feature(s) with URL to Maria Speridakos.
Here are brief market updates from MOTT’s international representatives in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic:
Canada – VoX International
- Canadians are ready to travel when the time is right and their health and safety can be assured. 80% of those who have taken an outbound trip in the past two years already say they miss traveling.
- Canadian insurance companies Blue Cross Ontario and Quebec, Manulife, and Medipac are now offering Emergency Medical policies that include additional coverage for COVID-19 and related conditions for Canadian Residents. Air Canada is also now offering complimentary COVID-19 emergency medical and quarantine insurance on round-trip International flights including USA.
- The Canadian border remains closed and only Canadians citizens, Canadian permanent residents and their immediate family members are currently allowed into the country. The Canada-U.S. land border closure was extended for another 30 days to October 21. The 14-day mandatory quarantine was extended by one month until September 30, meaning anyone arriving in or returning to Canada must self-isolate for 14 days. The travel restrictions are reviewed every 30 days. Airlines are lobbying the government to lift the 14-day quarantine when returning to Canada to reopen air travel.
United Kingdom – TTM
- The UK continues to move forward and adapt to the new normal with the government reintroducing some measures around socializing and ensuring masks are always worn in public spaces, with fines for those that do not comply in order to stem the spread as we approach the autumn/winter with seasonal colds and flu season.
- UK Tour Operators are still reporting back that the USA is in demand and their audiences are very much engaged with their U.S. content. The continued lobbying for air bridges between London and the USA are ongoing, specifically with New York, and we expect to see positive booking patterns for Massachusetts in 2021 once this is confirmed.
- Our media colleagues continue to look for new story hooks and reasons to promote destinations including the USA for travel in 2021. Anniversaries are popular and we have seen coverage of the Plymouth 400 commemoration starting to run here as it is a story that connects the UK to Massachusetts. They will be keen to visit Massachusetts on commission when the USA opens for tourism.
October holds the annual Visit USA Agent Roadshow, this year held virtually, in which up to 200 agents are engaging in a Massachusetts training session and have the chance to ask questions afterwards. This enables us to put Massachusetts at the forefront especially if the NYC route opens up the entry into the East Coast.
List Your Business on VisitMA.com
VisitMA.com has a business database that we are expanding as part of the My Local MA campaign. It’s easy to be part of VisitMA.com: just go to https://business.visitma.com/, where you can sign on as a new business, or update your information if you are already registered on the site.
Regional Tourism Council Bulletin
The October issue of the RTC’s monthly bulletin is available to read here.
AAA Northeast Virtual Travel Event
On Tuesday, October 6 at 11 a.m., don’t miss the AAA Northeast’s Fall Foliage Virtual Presentation with local panelists Diane Burnette, Director, Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center; Jonathan Butler, CEO, 1Berkshire; and Bill DeSousa-Mauk, Founder/Principal, DeMa Public Relations. Register here.
The 2020 Big E Virtual Marketplace
The Big E Virtual Marketplace has officially launched, and will help to keep fairgoers engaged in The Big E experience, despite the Fair’s cancellation due to the COVID-19 crisis. This exciting Virtual Marketplace will be live through the end of the year. It allows fairgoers and fans of The Big E to virtually find their favorite Massachusetts Building vendor, and shop for goods and services. MOTT is participating in this venture, and continues to connect The Big E public with Massachusetts’ tourism regions and social media. See details here.
Holiday Listings: 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 under $50 (so up to $49.99, tax included) and cover BOTH: 1.) admission for two adults and
2.) admission for two adults with two children age 12 and under. With all of the exciting holiday events on the horizon, we will have a ’50 Under $50’ for the month of November and a separate listing for the month of December. Please send your submissions for consideration to: Phyllis M. Cahaly.
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 VisitMA.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. If you have any issues, please contact our Web Manager John Alzapiedi.
Call for Brochures
Simon/Lee Premium Outlets in Lee, MA, invite you to send them one box of brochures or visitor guides for display at their information centers. There is no storage or stocking fee so please send your printed tourism information to: Carolyn Edwards, Area General Manager, Simon/Lee Premium Outlets, 17 Premium Outlets Blvd., Lee, MA 01238. For details, contact Carolyn Edwards.
MA Film Office
GlobeDocs Film Festival October 1-12 (Virtual)
Boston Women's Film Festival October 8-18 (Virtual)
Boston Palestine Film Festival October 16-25 (Virtual)
Boston Asian American Film Festival October 21-25 (Virtual)
For a schedule of film festivals in Massachusetts this month and throughout the year, visit MAfilm.org/.
By the Numbers
Massachusetts Lodging Industry Performance: Calendar Year 2020 through August
-The Lodging Industry in Massachusetts started off Calendar Year 2020 with substantial gains over 2019
-Both Rooms Sold and Room Revenue increased by nearly 8% in January/February 2020 compared to the same two months in 2019
-In Massachusetts, the COVID-19 Pandemic in March 2020, led to a nearly 80% drop in Rooms Sold in both April and May 2020, compared to same months in 2019
-During the summer of 2020, the Lodging Industry began to improve
-In August 2020 the Lodging Industry Rooms Sold and Room Revenue decreases over August 2019, were 50% and 57% respectively, much less than the earlier decreases
-These most recent results indicate a slowly growing positive trend
MA Office of Travel and Tourism staffers are working remotely, see contact information:
John Alzapiedi, Web Manager, email@example.com
Phyllis Cahaly, Director of Partnership Marketing, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony D’Agostino, Research Director, email@example.com
Daniela De Caro-Heavey, Special Projects Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
Keiko Matsudo Orrall, Executive Director, keiko.m.Orrall@mass.gov
Michael Quinlin, Director, Commonwealth Marketing Office email@example.com
Maria Speridakos, Director of International PR, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marc Zappulla, Grants Coordinator, Marc.Zappulla@mass.gov