A report shows a slight increase in tourism in western Mass. | New


SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB / WSHM) – Western Massachusetts is seeing an increase in tourism with recent attractions like the Dr. Seuss Museum and, of course, the MGM.

According to Mary Kay Wydra, president of the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, western Massachusetts has become a destination.

“We offer visitors affordable prices. We provide great accessibility and we have an abundance of attractions that people can enjoy,” noted Wydra.

Attractions like the Basketball Hall of Fame, Six Flags, the Dr. Seuss Museum and, most recently, MGM Springfield.

“We have great brands that people recognize,” Wydra added.

When the Dr. Seuss Museum opened in the summer of 2017, the number of domestic and international travelers to western Massachusetts skyrocketed.

In an economic impact study from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, they report that $ 608 million was spent by tourists in 2017. That’s a 6.5% increase from the previous year.

This money supported 3,900 jobs and generated $ 47 million in national and local taxes.

Those numbers came before MGM opened, which drew around one million visitors in the first six weeks of operation.

Today, the state gaming commission released figures for MGM’s total revenue since it opened in August. They generated over $ 25 million in state taxes alone.

“I think people were watching with the arrival of MGM and there was private development as a result of that,” Wydra said.

The tourism bureau told Western Mass News that although major attractions like MGM are located in Springfield, they are seeing an increase in tourism throughout Hampden County.

“I think even though these brands are located here, it reverberates and impacts all of western Massachusetts,” Wydra explained.

Wydra said Hampden County’s growth spanned Franklin and Hampshire counties – each with their own unique appeal.

“I think our three counties linked together make a very good destination,” said Wydra.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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