FEBRUARY 2022: TOURISM COUNCIL REPORT
The winter has become a busy time for the Greater Cape Ann Tourism Council, with a number of wintertime activities and a focus on planning for summer and other seasons. These were among the topics we covered in our January Tourism Council meeting on January 21.
This meeting was held via Zoom due to COVID concerns, and the impact of the pandemic was a point of discussion for the group. While accommodations reported some cancelations due to the December-January surge, we were encouraged to hear of the number of diners enjoying our restaurants in recent weeks. We also talked about the highlights of the recent holiday season – a marked improvement over 2020 — although here too, COVID had an impact.
There were signs of optimism for the remaining months of winter, with a number of new and expanded tourism initiatives reviewed by the group: Gloucester’s So Salty (January 22-23), Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day plans, Discover Gloucester’s Girls Getaway Weekend (March 4-6), and a three-part Birding Speaker Series being organized by the Chamber in February, March and April, building on the popular winter birding boat trip (March 12).
A primary focus for our January meeting was on the summer months and a particular challenge: summer employment support. Continuing a conversation that began in our December meeting, we received an update on the significant progress made in recent weeks: an online survey to gather input from impacted businesses and interest in hiring international exchange students; State Senator Tarr’s meeting with Gordon College, a proposed housing option; talks with Cape Ann Transportation Authority, on services that they could provide; activities being planned for international students and other seasonal workers; and opportunities to expand efforts to local students and other groups. We look forward to further updates in our upcoming meetings.
Summer, spring, winter and fall will again on the agenda when the Tourism Council meets for its next meeting, on February 18. Anyone interested in this and upcoming monthly Tourism Council meetings is welcome to join us. These meetings are held on the third Friday of each month — in-person (when possible) at the Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce office or virtually via Zoom. Please reach out if you have any questions about our meetings or the Tourism Council activities.
Co-owner, Blue Shutters Beachside Inn
Chair, Tourism Council