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Tourism

The travel, tourism and hospitality industry plays a tremendous role in Massachusetts' Pioneer Valley (a brand used for tourism purposes to describe Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties.) The visitor industry ranks #1 worldwide, #2 in the United States and stands #3 in the Commonwealth, making it critical to our economy.

Tourism related employment in Western Massachusetts totals nearly 5,000, with a payroll of more than $120 million annually. Direct spending of travelers in the region is nearly $525 million, resulting in local tax receipts of nearly $11.5 million. Tourist dollars are spent in a variety of ways that directly affect the bottom-line of area businesses. From transportation and fuel to food, lodging and entertainment, scores of businesses rely on the business of tourism.

The Pioneer Valley tourism industry cluster is boosted by the region's famed attractions, including Six Flags New England, Yankee Candle Village, the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. The Valley is also known for its unique festivals and fairs including The Big E, Bright Nights at Forest Park, the Paradise City Arts Festival and Holyoke's St. Patrick's Day Parade, ranked in the nation's top three.

Howdy University is an affordable customer service training program for front-line tourism industry workers. This program features training by nationally-known customer service experts, mini-grants for members to identify market niches as well as marketing programs and the annual Howdy awards for customer service excellence.

Attractions

Western Massachusetts is home to dozens of famous attractions and recreation destinations. For more information about these as well as lodging, dining, shopping, visiting and tourism, visit our Affiliate Partner, the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Click here for a list of attractions

Resources 

Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (GSCVB) one of thirteen Regional Tourism Councils in the state, the bureau is the destination marketing organization for Massachusetts' Pioneer Valley, supported by more than 350 regional business members.

Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) is the state agency dedicated to promoting Massachusetts as a friendly, family-oriented destination set in the midst of rich historical and cultural tradition by leading the united public and private sectors in that mission.  

The MassMutual Center offers an elegant ballroom, five fully-functional meeting rooms, 40,000 square feet of exhibit space and a newly renovated 6,677-seat arena. Formerly the Springfield Civic Center, this venue continues to be the home of the Springfield Falcons American Hockey League team, a part of the Eastern Conference-Atlantic Division. In 2009 it also became the home to the Springfield's NBA Development League Team, the Springfield Armor.

Eastern States Exposition is a not-for-profit corporation providing year-round opportunities for the development and promotion of agriculture, education, industry and family entertainment while preserving the New England heritage within one of Northeast's largest fairgrounds, located in West Springfield. This venue hosts events year-round but is most notably home of The Big E, the Northeast's largest fair.

Discover New England is an organization focused on marketing all six New England states as an international vacation destination by promoting and representing all sectors of the tourism industry in New England.

The Mohawk Trail Association is an all-volunteer organization promoting tourism of Massachusetts' Mohawk Trail foot path and the route's more than 100 attractions.

The Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce creates, maintains and promotes a vital, thriving climate for business and supports the civic, educational and economic well-being of greater Northampton, Massachusetts. An large part of this work is focused in marketing the City of Northampton, a major regional tourist destination, to attract visitors.  

The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce provides services and opportunities to the business community from health insurance to networking events and lobbying representation to town festivities. In promoting the health of businesses large and small, the chamber supports the interests of the entire community by marketing the region and it's attractions to tourists.  

 

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