Amid seemingly endless snowfall, a Tourism Transition Committee comprised of key members from the City of Gloucester’s Tourism Commission, the Discover Gloucester-Destination Marketing Organization and the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce have been meeting since February to collaborate on the creation of a new public private tourism organization.
This “Tourism Transition Committee,” a temporary working group that will report its findings to the Tourism Commission, is working on the parameters of a new, permanent public/private Tourism organization that allows the visitor economy to speak and act with one voice.
“The visitor economy is such an important part of Gloucester because so many different people and organizations do their part to market the city as a unique destination,” said Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken. “This effort which has been highly successful will be even stronger by having all the different groups work together. A new public/private organization will ensure that the different aspects of tourism will speak together and act in one voice, while sharing the amazing story that is Gloucester.”
The committee is chaired by Laura Dow, chair of the Gloucester Tourism Commission and owner of the Vista Motel and by Tobin Dominick, president of Discover Gloucester, past Chair of North of Boston Convention and Visitors Burearu and owner of the Cape Ann’s Marina Resort and Mile Marker One Restaurant. Other committee members include Peter Webber, senior vice president, Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce; Laura Baker, owner of Castle Manor Inn; Karen Ristuben, president and board chair of the Rocky Neck Art Colony; and Linn Parisi, executive director of Discover Gloucester. Carol Thistle, senior project manager from the Community Development Department, is facilitating the group.
The committee reports that all tourism marketing efforts will continue as planned during the transition period. Currently the Tourism Commission is working on a television advertising campaign, which includes April ad placement on National Geographic’s “Wicked Tuna” show as well as marketing to audiences in New York and western Massachusetts. The Commission also is beginning plans to open the Stage Fort Park Welcome Center for the season. Discover Gloucester continues to attend consumer and trade shows and will publish the new Discover Gloucester Visitor Guide in May.
City ordinance required the Tourism Commission to prepare a five-year marketing plan. The City retained consultant Chris Pappas of Open the Door, Inc. to evaluate the existing tourism management and financial model. After interviews of key tourism stakeholders and several community meetings, the Tourism Commission voted to adopt the five year plan , including a new organizational structure, and submit recommendations to Mayor Romeo Theken. The goal of the new public/private tourism organization is to continue and/or expand all current tourism marketing programs with the objective of increasing overnight visitation and tourism spending.