New Grant Program to Support Massachusetts Travel and Tourism Attractions
- Özgür Töre
The MA Office of Travel and Tourism announces that the Travel and Tourism Season Extension (TTSE) Grant Program is open.
The US Department of Commerce Economic Development Agency and the MA Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) through the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) is committed to helping communities recover from the impact of COVID19 and contribute to the long-term strength and sustainability of the Commonwealth. The goal of the Travel and Tourism Season Extension (TTSE) Grant Program is to strengthen the economy of Massachusetts by enhancing the state’s tourism industry season.
The TTSE Grant is a competitive marketing grant program. The grant will support regional marketing projects that promote travel and tourism attractions in Massachusetts between the months of November through April, known as the “shoulder season.” TTSE Grant funds are dedicated to regional projects that enhance tourism recovery and have the potential to increase domestic visitation during the shoulder season.
MOTT will issue grants in six regions to ensure geographic diversity across Massachusetts. The TTSE Grant is competitive, and one organization per region will be chosen to administer the TTSE grant. Projects must be regional in nature and must provide scope and budget for projects between $600,000 and $1,200,000. Six awards will be issued.
Eligible uses will include marketing content development, website development and optimization, visitor/consumer outreach, digital advertising, language translations, signage, photography and videography, itineraries, and other specific marketing initiatives. These marketing projects must encourage experiences that are not necessarily season-dependent and can be sustained for more than one annual cycle.
The six geographic tourism regions are comprised of the following Regional Tourism Councils (RTCs):
- Greater Boston: Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB)
- North of Boston: North of Boston CVB, Greater Merrimack Valley CVB
- South of Boston: SE Massachusetts CVB, See Plymouth
- Cape Cod and the Islands: Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce, Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce
- Central MA: North Central MA, Discover Central MA, MetroWest Tourism and Visitors Bureau
- Western MA: Greater Springfield CVB, Hampshire County Tourism and Visitors Bureau, Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, 1Berkshire, and Mohawk Trail Association
The Travel and Tourism Season Extension Grant Program is funded at $6,000,000 through the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Agency. The grant process opens on March 15, 2022 with applications due no later than May 16, 2022, at 5 p.m. Applicants who have technical difficulties must notify MOTT by email before 3 p.m. on May 16, 2022, in order to receive assistance. Grant awards will be announced in June 2022.
- A regional public agency or regional nonprofit organization incorporated in Massachusetts with 501(c)3, 501(c)4, 501(c)5, or 501(c)6, status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that does one of the following: Produces, promotes, or presents tourism attractions and activities for the public; and/or provides public access to physical collections and exhibits for tourists.
- Organization must be located in Massachusetts and in operation at least two years (since March 2020).
- Agency must be in good standing with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and city/town: current on all taxes due through December 31, 2021, and have active and valid state licenses/registrations, if applicable.
- Applications must be complete, include all required documentation, and be submitted through the online portal on or before the deadline.
- Applicants must indicate that they have a nondiscriminatory and inclusionary hiring policy
- Applicants must partner with two additional qualifying regional organizations; this partnership must designate one partnering organization to serve as the fiscal agent for the grant.
- For-profit organizations
- Any organization whose sole or primary purpose is to fundraise (e.g., “friends of” groups, foundations, etc.)
- Public colleges and universities, and entities that receive state-level operating support or non-project support directly from the Massachusetts General Fund
- Organizations not located in Massachusetts or whose service does not primarily serve Massachusetts residents