Convention and Visitors Bureaus and Merrimack Valley Chamber Win $1 Million Tourism Grant

North of Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Nancy Gardella. (Courtesy photograph.)

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Officials are touting receipt of a $1 million grant to promote overnight travel, a dining out restaurant campaign that encourages and outreach to specialized leisure travel and other tourism efforts.

Salisbury-based North of Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Lowell-based Greater Merrimack Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce are working together on the campaign scheduled to run November through April. Money comes from a Travel and Tourism Season Extension Grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Agency through the state Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

“We are grateful to (the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism) for recognizing that the state is still in recovery and investing in innovative efforts to promote visitation to the North of Boston and Merrimack Valley during the slower winter and spring seasons,” said North of Boston Executive Director Nancy Gardella.

Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism Executive Director Keiko Matsudo Orrall called the period from November through April the “shoulder season.” Gardella added, all 54 communities in the region will benefit during a second cycle from April of 2024 through June of 2025.

“The Merrimack Valley is rich in history and poised for the future. Visitors learn about the importance of the industrial mills along the river and enjoy the architecture that is being transformed into lofts, art galleries, office spaces and more. What was once home to such creative figures as conductor Leonard Bernstein, poet Robert Frost and singer Robert Goulet now features many downtown events and festivals. Outside the cities are many open spaces and farms that attract agri-tourism.,” said Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce President Joseph J. Bevilacqua.

The coalition plans to present details during a reception Thursday, April 6, from 11 a.m.-noon, at the House of the Seven Gables, 115 Derby St., in Salem.

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