FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
David O’Donnell | GBCVB
GREATER BOSTON CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU ANNOUNCES CREATION OF BOSTON-CAMBRIDGE TOURISM MARKETING DISTRICT
TDMD assessments will go into effect in October and are critical to economic recovery for the tourism and hospitality industry
BOSTON (August 18, 2021) – The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB) and members of the Boston and Cambridge City Councils today announced the passage and creation of a Boston-Cambridge Tourism Destination Marketing District (BCTDMD.) The BCTDMD was approved at today’s Boston City Council meeting and has already been approved by the City of Cambridge.
The GBCVB partnered with Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards on this very important final phase of the BCTDMD formation.
The BCTDMD will permit hotels in Boston and Cambridge to assess guests a nominal 1.5 percent fee that will be directly reinvested back into destination development, promotion and marketing. Among the many priorities identified in the district plan, BCTDMD funds will drive recovery of the tourism and hospitality sector, increase supplier and workforce pipeline diversity, create a reserve fund to help the tourism industry weather economic downturns, and ultimately allow Greater Boston to be more competitive in luring visitors, meetings and events. TDMDs are not a new concept; there are nearly 200 tourism marketing districts across the United States.
“Tourism is integral to the Boston and Bay State economy. Prior to the pandemic, it was the third largest industry in Massachusetts,” said Martha J. Sheridan, President & CEO of the GBCVB. “The BCTDMD is critical to the recovery of the tourism and hospitality sector, which has lost 43 percent of it jobs and over $15 billion in revenue. We are facing a four-to-five-year recovery period; Greater Boston tourism will bounce back, but we need this financial support to do so successfully.
“We’d like to thank the Boston and Cambridge City Councils for their support, with special recognition for Councilor Lydia Edwards. At the state level, we’d also like to recognize and thank Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, Speaker Ron Mariano, Senate President Karen Spilka, Representative Aaron Michlewitz, and Leader Michael Moran,” added Sheridan.
The GBCVB has been working to form a TDMD for two years. The process has been multifaceted and collaborative, with Boston and Cambridge hotels playing a key role. The first step was to educate the hotel community on the benefits of forming a TDMD, while simultaneously reviving legislation that had languished on Beacon Hill since 2017. The GBCVB accomplished both, and after Governor Baker signed the legislation GBCVB CEO Martha J. Sheridan led a hotel petition drive that well exceeded the necessary number of signatures needed to move the vote to Boston and Cambridge City Councils.
“The TDMD will be a crucial part of a strong economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The tourism industry and its employees have been some of the hardest hit during this pandemic; the industry employs women and people of color at much higher rates than other industries, and is often a stepping stone for meaningful wages and union membership,” said Councilor Lydia Edwards.
“The Cambridge Office for Tourism and the City of Cambridge are thrilled to partner with the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau and the City of Boston in this groundbreaking effort for Massachusetts! The BCTDMD will provide a much-needed source of stable funding for the tourism office's destination marketing efforts and will facilitate a path for a more speedy recovery for the Cambridge hotels.
“We commend the Commonwealth for passing the legislation that allowed for the formation of a TDMD in MA, and we applaud the city officials from both Cambridge and Boston for recognizing the urgency and moving quickly through the process. We will all benefit because of it,” said Robyn Culbertson, Executive Director of the Cambridge Office for Tourism.
ABOUT GREATER BOSTON CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU (GBCVB)
The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB) is the primary private sector marketing and visitor services organization charged with the development of meetings, conventions and tourism-related business, with a goal to enhance the economy of Boston, Cambridge and the metropolitan area. The GBCVB is a not-for-profit, membership-driven sales and marketing organization comprised of over 1,200 companies in Boston, Cambridge and across New England that depend upon the visitor and convention industries for their own success and growth.