September is a key month for Greater Cape Ann’s tourism community – a time to reflect on the busy summer season and to look ahead to the increasingly important fall months. That’s just what the Tourism Council did in its September 15 meeting – and there was optimism across the board.
Even more encouraging – the experiences of summer 2023 and plans for this fall gave rise to ideas to create even more tourism opportunities going forward in 2024 and beyond. As the Council discussed in its August meeting, the tourism community continued to thrive this summer despite weather challenges and staffing shortages. We reviewed the experiences of early September and the final days of summer, which brought some of the best weather of the season and provided a backdrop for important tourism cornerstones like the Labor Day weekend Schooner Festival, Gloucester 400 activities, and a third Downtown Block Party. We talked about all this as a stepping stone for what promises to be a busy tourism fall season on Cape Ann, with the Clamfest, Cape Ann Plein Air, more Gloucester 400 celebrations, and the last weeks of the immensely popular Hopper exhibit at the Cape Ann Museum. This is just a small sampling of what’s in store for visitors to Cape Ann this fall – and it’s a gateway to the 2023 holiday season.
The Council looked at all this – experiences in summer, fall and the holidays, as well as winter and spring – with an eye toward creating new tourism opportunities. We discussed possibilities like cross-marketing, visitor packages, promotional toolkits, wedding and conference retreat expos, cruise ship liaisons, and an accommodation industry group, as well as the ideas for new events, such as a winter festival.
These are just some topics the Council will take up in its meeting in October and the months ahead. We’ll also review discussions from the Discover Gloucester Industry Roundtables taking place in October – another source of insights that will help our tourism community grow. Anyone involved in or with an interest in our tourism economy is invited to join our monthly meetings. We gather on the third Friday of each month at the Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce offices — and via Zoom. If you’d like to be part of these discussions, please reach out to me or contact the Chamber staff.
Co-owner, Blue Shutters Beachside Inn
Chair, Tourism Council