State Representative Cory Atkins (D-Concord) and State Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives (D-Newburyport) Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development announced today that the Committee will hold its next public hearing and listening tour stop on Martha’s Vineyard on Tuesday, April 15th.
The Committee will convene a public hearing on Martha’s Vineyard on April 15th at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center at 10:00 a.m. Legislators from the committee, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, and the Martha’s Vineyard Regional Tourism Council will join community members, artists, and local business owners to discuss the economic impact the arts, culture, and tourism have on the
“Martha’s Vineyard is a staple of Massachusetts tourism,” said Atkins. “Name recognition alone draws more visitors to this region than we can imagine. It’s wonderful to be able to meet with some of the players that make that possible and keep first-time tourists coming back each season.”
Senator O’Connor Ives said, “Tourism is a thriving industry and is made up of many local, small businesses.  I’m focused on strategies and opportunities to grow this industry.  I look forward to visiting Martha’s Vineyard and listening to the stakeholders in the sectors of tourism, arts and culture on the challenges and successful approaches in these important areas of our economy.”
Tourism is recognized as the third largest revenue-producing industry in Massachusetts with a $3.7 billion payroll across 126,500 jobs.  In 2011, 28.8 million people visited Massachusetts and spent $17.7 billion, according to the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. Tourist surveys consistently indicate that arts, culture, and history are among the top reasons for choosing to visit our state. Non-profit cultural organizations employ nearly 18,000 Massachusetts residents, generating $28 million in payroll taxes and $1.2 billion in annual in-state spending.