TORONTO — When it comes to Massachusetts, most travellers think of the Red Sox, the Bruins, Boston and Cape Cod, “but obviously we have so much more than that,” says Lesley White, International Marketing Manager with the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT).
Representatives from half a dozen or so regions of the state were in town yesterday for an industry marketplace and lunch, including the Greater Boston, North of Boston, Plymouth County, Central Massachusetts, Greater Springfield, Cape Cod, the Berkshires and the Mohawk Trail Association.
Some 691,000 Canadians travelled to Massachusetts in 2012, primarily from Quebec (295,500), Ontario (232,600) and Atlantic Canada (108,100). Up to 20 daily departures from Air Canada and Porter Airlines service Boston’s Logan International Airport, says White.
Massachusetts is home to more than 2,400 kilometres of shoreline and big-name getaway destinations like Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Not surprisingly, the city of Boston is the biggest draw of all and several new hotel developments will ensure guests have a place to stay.
This year sees the opening of The Godfrey Hotel as well as the Towne Place Suites in Chelsea, plus more properties are planned for 2015 including Element and Aloft properties in south Boston and a Holiday Inn & Suites and a Hilton Garden Inn at Logan Airport.
Rail service on the CapeFlyer train returns Memorial Day and runs through Labour Day, offering a quick trip from Boston to Cape Cod in about two and a half hours.
Beyond Boston, notable newsworthy properties include the Nesbitt Inn, built in 1872 and Nantucket’s oldest inn. The inn has been sold and renovations are currently underway by the new owners, with a projected re-opening date this spring.
Another high-profile property, the five-star Mirbeau Inn & Spa, will open this year at the Pinehills Village Green in Plymouth County. Plymouth County “is where New England begins. We have history all over the place,” says Paul Cripps, executive director with Destination Plymouth. Cripps notes that Plymouth is finding new markets with the 20 to 30 year old demographic, drawn to all the new small restaurants, bars and music venues. As an added bonus, “we have just 1,000 rooms, so at night you’ve got the place to yourselves. And everything’s in walking distance.”
The region of North of Boston includes Salem (famous for its witch trials from long-ago and now a great add-on destination with shops, restaurants and the Peabody Essex Museum), Rockport and Gloucester. The Essex Coastal Scenic Byway winds its way through all of these cities.
See massvacation.ca for details.