1Berkshire is happy to report that the 2018 tourism impact numbers are in and they show a 2.4% increase in direct visitor spending over 2017, which comes on the heels of an above average increase of 8% from 2016 to 2017, signaling an ongoing strong growth trajectory for our area.
“As identified in our Berkshire Blueprint 2.0, tourism is one of our five essential clusters; it continues to be an integral part of the Berkshire economy, sustaining economic growth and enhancing the quality of life for residents across the region. I am excited to see that we continue to have year-over-year growth in this industry, despite a tough competitive landscape. About three years ago we shifted our marketing strategy and spending to reach a younger demographic and to promote our shoulder season. This campaign focus is starting to bear fruit and is supported by more and more year-round programming at many of our cultural and outdoor recreation venues, ” stated Lindsey Schmid, 1Berkshire’s VP of Tourism and Marketing.
For 2018, the total economic impact of tourism in The Berkshires was $826.23 million. Jobs directly related to tourism supported 4,387 residents throughout the county in 2018, continuing the growth in the number of jobs for seven years in a row, which brings associated payroll to $149.7 million.
Visitors in the Berkshires generated $529.7 million of spending at local businesses throughout the county in 2018. This spending returned almost $27.3 million to the state in tax revenue, and Berkshire communities received an additional $15.2 million to use for local services. This data comes from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, which defines visitors as those who are more than 50 miles away from home.
Jonathan Butler, CEO and president of 1Berkshire stated that “it has long been our aspiration in the region to see the growth of the tourism economy translate into positive developments in other sectors. Throughout the past few years, we’ve really seen that coming to fruition. The increasingly more vibrant atmosphere that tourism investment is fueling is also benefiting residents and businesses, as well as continuing to make our region a more competitive location for other types of industry.”
Butler continued that “1Berkshire has an excellent track record of getting a great return on investment for what we spend on marketing the Berkshires,” adding that “now we can augment our marketing ability with our economic development strengths to work directly with companies or individuals looking to invest in our area. It is a win-win situation for the Berkshires.”
Photos courtesy: Jiminy Peak / MASS MoCA