The holiday season has always been a high point for the tourism community, and this was certainly true in December 2022. In the January 20 meeting of the Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce Tourism Council, we focused on the visitor activity we saw during the holidays and on our expectations for an equally successful winter season. The conversations didn’t stop there, as we welcomed Isabel Pett from Gloucester 400+, who shared an update on events and activities planned throughout 2023.
The 2022 holidays provided a tremendous launchpad for the winter season, with visitors and residents alike enjoying Cape Ann’s traditional seasonal celebrations, the return of Winter Lights, and other events across our five communities. The Council reviewed all this and more, before turning our attention to the remaining winter months.
This winter season is expected to be our busiest ever. We’ve got a taste of the exciting times ahead with Gloucester So Salty, which drew crowds to the Cape Ann Museum and the surrounding downtown neighborhood on January 21 and 22 for ice sculptures and a range of indoor and outdoor activities. A week later, Maritime Gloucester celebrated the opening of its new Martine Science Education Center.
Looking to the remainder of the winter season, we talked about the activities planned at Ipswich’s Castle Hill throughout February and the Chamber’s annual Winter Birding Boat Trip in March. The Council discussed opportunities to build on the growing interest in winter birding on Cape Ann and how the winter holidays can be a magnet for tourism. We talked about the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday, which provides opportunities for our restaurants and accommodations. New Chamber board member GenSis Gough of 4GBS Coaching and Consulting suggested offering promotions such as a romance package to attract and serve visitors to Cape Ann around Valentine’s Day.
One more early winter activity was the January 28 Bruins Alumni game, part of early 2023 Gloucester 400+ celebration. The Council received a Gloucester 400+ preview a few months ago, and Isabel was back in January to provide an update on the growing line-up of events and activities certain to attract visitors to Cape Ann. Check out the Gloucester 400+ website to learn more about these plans. The success of the holidays and the early winter season and the plans for the year ahead make it clear that 2023 will be a one of the most exciting times ever for tourism on Cape Ann. Anyone with an interest in Greater Cape Ann’s visitor-based economy is welcome to join us for future Tourism Council meetings. The Council meets on the third Friday of each month at the Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce offices – our next meeting is on February 17. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to be part of the conversation!
Co-owner, Blue Shutters Beachside Inn
Chair, Tourism Council