Daily News

Tourism Marketing in Pioneer Valley to Receive $250,000 in State Funding

SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Eric Lesser was joined by Mary Kay Wydra, president of Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau, and John Doleva, president and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, on Monday to announce $250,000 in funding for tourism marketing in the Pioneer Valley.

“This funding for tourism marketing will help us begin to rebuild and bring business to our restaurants, attractions, and hospitality industry across the board,” Lesser said. “This grant is meant to promote Western Massachusetts for socially distanced activities, and hopefully, when visitors are here, they’ll fill up their gas tanks, buy dinner, buy souvenirs, and help us hire back workers for the many jobs that were lost. This funding is a vital measure to begin putting money back into the local economy and back into our local families.”

Added Wydra, “with abundant opportunities for outdoor and socially distant recreation as well as iconic attractions, Western Massachusetts is well-positioned to welcome visitors. The tourism industry has been particularly hard-hit by the effects of COVID-19, and this funding will provide a much-needed boost to our marketing efforts to safely reopen our industry, generate economic activity for our region, and put people back to work.”

Doleva noted that “Senator Lesser’s work on securing this very important grant to aggressively restart the tourism industry in Western Massachusetts demonstrates his willingness to listen, analyze, and respond to the real need of getting thousands of workers and hundreds of businesses back up and running, which are a major contributor to our local economy. Western Massachusetts is well-positioned to tell the story of safe, serene, fun, and engaging family activities not only for this period as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, but for years to come. This grant will elevate tourism in our region to a new level permanently, and his efforts are appreciated.”

This funding is part of a $1.1 billion coronavirus-response package adopted by both the Senate and House and signed into law on July 24 by Gov. Charlie Baker.