While winter tourism is always a priority for the Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce Tourism Council, November is the month when that focus becomes much clearer. When November rolls around, plans for the holiday season are set, and the nip in the air reminds us of the region’s colder-weather activities. This was the case for our latest group meeting, on November 19.
We reviewed the schedule of activities for the holidays, which looks much more like years prior to the pandemic shutdowns of 2020. While the region’s tourism community is moving ahead cautiously – and with some changes – we are happy to report that many of the celebrations that have marked the holidays over the years will be back in 2021. Check the Chamber website and other sites like Discover Gloucester for details on holiday happenings. We encouraged Tourism Council members to do their part by helping to spread the word on this year’s holiday plans.
Also back this holiday season is Winter Lights on Cape Ann. This program — launched in 2020 to great successes — helps brighten the holiday season…and for many, the early months of the new year as well. In 2021, the program has even more participants across Cape Ann – more than 100 – and it all began on November 26. This year we’ll see printed maps and you can expect more “buzz” from participants and others for this program that draws visitors here and makes the holidays brighter for our residents. Information, including a downloadable brochure and map, is available at https://www.discovergloucester.com/winter-lights-cape-ann/.
In our November meeting, we also turned our attention to other programs that would help us attract visitors during the winter months. One focus we’ve discussed in recent meetings is birding, and the group received an update on ideas for broadening our traditional winter birding activities to build awareness of one of Cape Ann’s most interesting natural attractions. Watch for more on this in the weeks and months ahead. We also heard about planning for a new winter event coming in January 2022 called “Salty Gloucester” and including ice sculptures.
Our group will continue to look for ways to support Cape Ann tourism — in the winter and throughout the year. We welcome all to join these discussions — we meet on the third Friday of each month at 8:30, at the Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce offices. The next meeting of the Tourism Council will be on Friday, December 17, and the focus topic will be ways that the Council can support Cape Ann’s tourism businesses meet their staffing needs for the 2022 summer season.
Thank you and Happy Holidays!
Co-owner, Blue Shutters Beachside Inn
Chair, Tourism Council