Tourism is the Commonwealth's third-largest industry with $69 billion in economic impact, $16 billion in direct spending, and generates $1.2 billion in state and local tax revenue. Tourism employs one in ten Massachusetts residents, supporting 376,000 workers directly and 608,000 in total.* In our region alone, tourism creates $1.3 billion in spending by domestic travelers, supporting 12,000 jobs and generating more than $89 million in state and local tax receipts. The Cape Cod Chamber is a Commonwealth-designated Regional Tourism Council. As the lead organization for regional tourism, we develop regional advertising, public relations, brochures, and other marketing initiatives throughout the year and help ensure Massachusetts remains competitive.
Massachusetts ranks 47th in the country in tourism marketing investment. Without competitive promotion, Massachusetts loses market share and there is evidence that this is eroding. Funding tourism is an investment in the whole Commonwealth, pays dividends and needs to be vigorously supported.
In 2016, the Legislature created a $10 million Tourism Trust Fund to dedicate a portion of room occupancy tax revenue to destination marketing: $6 million for the Regional Tourism Councils (RTCs), and $4 million for the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT). Maintenance of this dedicated tourism fund and creating stable and competitive investment in tourism are critical to the state and region.
*Report: The work of leisure - Behind the scenes in the Massachusetts leisure, hospitality and tourism industry
In our region, the Commonwealth owns three visitor centers (Rt. 25 in Plymouth, Rt. 3 in Sagamore, Rt 6 in Yarmouth). Traditionally, the Cape Cod Chamber has received a grant to staff the Route 25 center and had provided funds to staff the Sagamore center. As first impression makers for our millions of annual visitors, these centers need to be supported, either with public funding or through public private partnerships.
LISTEN: WCAI Podcast - Short Term Rental Tax and a New Trust Fund to Help Pay for Wastewater Management