We were still enjoying the final few days of summer when the Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce Tourism Council gathered on September 17, but our group had already set its sights on the seasons ahead.
We discussed plans for winter birding season, the possibility of bike rentals, and ways we can utilize information on all that attracts visitors to Cape Ann. We talked about the sources of this information – at the Welcome Center and the Chamber Visitor Center, and in blogs published by Cape Ann business – and about plans for new videos made possible by a recently received regional grant. We discussed how the Council can make more potential visitors aware of this information, and how we can help identify and create more of these insights for tourists to our region. This will be an ongoing part of Council conversations as we move forward.
As we do in each month’s meeting, we looked back, and in September we reviewed the summer season as a whole. Despite the world’s ongoing pandemic challenges, the Council members reported that this summer was a positive one in terms of business activity – across all sectors — and in the reactions from visitors. The group noted that they saw an increase in masking as the summer progressed – and as COVID numbers grew more concerning – but that visitors enjoyed their Cape Ann experience.
The Council also reviewed plans for the October 14 report on the results of tourism industry roundtables that took place the week following our September meeting. Those annual roundtables – for lodging, retail, arts & culture, restaurants, and attractions – were organized by Discover Gloucester, with support from the Chamber and the town of Rockport. We encourage anyone with an interest in the region’s visitor-based economy to save the date and watch for details on the release of this year’s findings, which will also include tourism-related data gathered by the Chamber.
We will discuss the results of these roundtable reports, review more reflections on the summer, and continue our look ahead to seasons – and years – to come in our next Tourism Council meeting, on October 15.
Anyone interested in the Cape Ann tourism community is welcome to join us for this and future meetings. We meet on the third Friday of each month at 8:30, at the Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce offices.
Co-owner, Blue Shutters Beachside Inn
Chair, Tourism Council