Contact: David O’Donnell, dodonnell@bostonusa.com

(Boston)—The tourism industry will celebrate its economic impact and its legislative champions  at the annual Massachusetts Tourism Day at the State House on Thursday, April 6, 11am-1pm, in the Great Hall.

Hosted by the 16 Regional Tourism Councils (RTCs) of Massachusetts, in partnership with the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development and the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT), Massachusetts Tourism Day includes a mid-day program that features presentations of the Champion of Tourism awards to Sen Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland) and Rep. Mathew Muratore (R-Plymouth).  

Other speakers include Joint Committee Co-chairs Rep. Cory Atkins and Sen. Adam Hinds. Francois Laurent-Nivaud, MOTT director, will welcome the attendees; Ann Marie Casey, executive director of the North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, will serve as emcee.

The third largest industry in the Commonwealth, tourism accounts for 135,000 jobs, thanks in large part to the direct spending by 23.5 million visitors to Massachusetts.  In 2015, for example, visitors to the state spent $20.2 billion on lodging, meals, culture and recreational attractions, transportation, and retail.  That spending yielded $1.3 billion in local and state tax revenue.

"Tourism is a very powerful economic generator for Massachusetts," said Patrick Moscaritolo, President & CEO of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. "We leverage state hotel tax dollars with private dollars from our member companies.  This gives the public funding a stronger reach and maximizes economic impact."

As part of Thursday’s celebration, the RTCs will offer food samples representing the culinary traditions of their regions, ranging from chowder to maple and apple products.

“The Regional Tourism Councils have a deep understanding of their unique regions coupled with marketing know-how. Their promotional efforts showcase all that Massachusetts has to offer, “said Rep. Atkins. “Over 23 million visitors frequent our restaurants, hotels, museums, cultural institutions, and attractions. The economic impact of a robust tourism industry is a boon to the Massachusetts economy.”