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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Massachusetts Taking Pride in National Travel and Tourism Week, May 8-16

by Michael P. Quinlin

From sea to shining sea, National Travel and Tourism Week is a chance to celebrate and take stock of the accomplishments and challenges of the travel industry in the United States, which employs ten million people across the nation.  The celebration runs from Saturday, May 8 through Sunday, May 16, 2010.  

Launched in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan, the annual event helps promote the United States as a travel destination while acknowledging the efforts of travel professionals in cities, states, heritage sites and visitor destinations who work to make America a premier travel choice to visitors from around the world.

Among the recent accomplishments Massachusetts has to celebrate:

US Congressman Bill Delahunt (D-MA) co-authored the bi-partisan U.S. Travel Promotion Act, which gives the United States a national marketing and communications plan to promote the USA as a destination throughout the world.  The bill was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 4, 2010.

Massachusetts remains a vibrant travel destination for both domestic and international visitors, thanks to the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT).  Executive director Betsy Wall reports that international visitors are up 11% so far this year, according to a recent Boston Globe story, while hotel bookings on Cape Cod and other resort areas are strong.  

The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) has initiated an ambitious plan to make Boston one of the top five destinations in North America.  Executive director James E. Rooney recently formed the Convention Partnership to enhance Boston's role as a top destination in the convention industry.

The Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GBCVB), an award-winning travel bureau, has branded Boston as as city of history, culture, education and beauty, helping Boston to win "America's Favorite City" contest in a recent Travel & Leisure Magazine poll. 

Massport, which operates Logan International Airport as well as several other travel facilities in Massachusetts, serves as the gateway to New England and has expanded its non-stop services to 70 domestic and 31 international destinations.  

Like other states across the country, Massachusetts is working hard to enhance its travel and tourism industry as a way of taking pride in where we live, and as a means of contributing to the economic vitality of our state.

Michael P. Quinlin is founder of Boston Irish Tourism Association and MassJazz.

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