HYANNIS — Tourism, the state’s third largest industry, brought Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll and Kate Fox, executive director of the state Office of Travel and Tourism, to Cape Cod on Wednesday.  

They were in town to tout the state’s initiatives to help tourism-related businesses thrive.

For the first time in five years, tourism has been included in a Massachusetts governor’s economic development plan and economic development bill. Statewide marketing initiatives and a tourism website will be launched, and $40 million in destination development grants will be funded.  

Over 150 hospitality professionals were expected at the forum, held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Cod.

Four of the top five industries on the Cape are tourism-related. More than five million visitors generated more than $181 million in state and local tax receipts in 2023, according to the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. Tourism-related industries supported 12,000 Cape workers.  

How to level out the peaks and valleys of the seasons, how to extend the shoulder seasons before and after summer months, and how to more effectively target travelers and market to them is what the Cape Cod Chamber is hoping to do with data from Zartico, a company that compiles data for marketing purposes. 

Bill Obreiter, a Zartico vice president, said the granular datahelps the chamber and its members understand the impact of events, see who is traveling to the Cape and where they are coming from. 

“We can get down to the zip codes,” Obreiter said.

Looking at the data can help members extend their peak season, he said. A better understanding of in-state and out-of-state visitor travel, when people arrive and when they depart, how much they spend on lodging and so forth can help them target their marketing more effectively, he said.

It’s all about using limited resources and funding on impactful messages for targeted audiences, according to Obreiter.  

Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism is the state agency dedicated to promoting Massachusetts as a leisure-travel destination. An integral part of the state’s economy, tourism generates $1.5 billion in state and local taxes and $22.9 billion in travel-related spending, and supports 149,400 in-state jobs. Outdoor recreation brings about $11 billion to the state annually.

Denise Coffey writes about business, tourism and issues impacting the Cape’s residents and visitors. Contact her at dcoffey@capecodonline.com .   

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