MA Spotlight: Elizabeth Carey

MA Spotlight

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Posted by Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

Covering the Gloucester Waterfront
Discover Gloucester‘s Executive Director Elizabeth Carey promotes Gloucester as a premier visitor destination to domestic and international travelers.  Renowned for its coastal beauty and maritime riches, arts and cultural scene, cuisine and seafood and for its storied history, Gloucester is a quintessential destination for visitors seeking a true New England experience.  We talked to Elizabeth what makes Gloucester so special.
Elizabeth, tell us about your professional background and your association with Discover Gloucester.
I have been in the travel and tourism industry for over 25 years.  Much of that time, as the owner of WHERE Magazine in Boston.  WHERE, established in 1929, has a strong history of being a well-recognized, globally branded visitor resource company.  During my time at WHERE, I was instrument in the creation of the Greater Boston Concierge Association. After selling the franchise, I worked with Attract China and the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum before coming to Gloucester.
Now, as executive director of Discover Gloucester, the official Destination Marketing Organization, I am thrilled to bring my marketing expertise to this organization and creatively brand Gloucester as a premier destination.

How do you condense these wonderful maritime, fishing and culinary assets into a compelling narrative when marketing Gloucester to the travel industry?
One of the main reasons I accepted this position with the Gloucester DMO was that in fact this remarkable city has so much to offer!  First, its authenticity is paramount and an enormous draw to travelers who seek that truly original experience.
The fact that this city has so much variety makes my job quite easy – there’s always a story to tell, a new audience to engage, no matter the season or reason.  Gloucester, best known as America’s Oldest Seaport is also home to America’s oldest continuously operated art colony, Rocky Neck Art Colony.  The Fisherman’s statue or “Man at the Wheel” that greets you along the boulevard, reminds us of our maritime heritage and passion for fishing.  Gloucester Harbor is the state’s #1 landing port for lobster.
Live music, fresh seafood, natural beauty, working waterfront, whale watching, schooner sails, award-winning beaches, fireside dining, history, sunsets, art galleries, boutique shopping, maritime museums– and so much more!

Tell us about some upcoming festivals in Gloucester and how they support local small businesses, fishermen, musicians and artists? 
Our summer season (and all year through) is chock full of activities to entice visitors to come, play, dine and stay.
We are delighted to celebrate the 35th Annual Gloucester Schooner Festival weekend (August 30-September 2) hosting over 30 different schooners from near and far.  We are overjoyed that the 18th Annual 92.5 The River’s Riverfest Seaside Music Festival is coming to Gloucester for the first time (August 24), and we also welcome back Gloucester’s 39th Annual Waterfront Festival (August 17-18). The Cape Ann Museum has a special exhibit through December 1, 2019 called, Homer at the Beach,  which brings together 50 original works by renowned American artist Winslow Homer (1836–1910). The exhibition explores Homer’s development as a marine painter and includes loans from some 40 public and private collections.
With the opening of the Beauport Hotel three years ago, adding 94 rooms to the city’s roster, we have seen a huge uptick in overnight stays year ‘round– which also impacts our restaurants, retail, attractions, galleries and museums.

The Gloucester / North Shore area is considered a film-friendly place for movie and television productions.  Does your office actively encourage film location shoots?  
Films are essential to our branding and marketing efforts. Many films and documentaries feature Gloucester in their stories such as The Perfect Storm, Manchester by the Sea, Captains Courageous and National Geographic’s TV series Wicked Tuna among others.
As we talk/meet with domestic and international visitors attending trade and consumer shows, the sheer mention of The Perfect Storm or Wicked Tuna is undisputed!  This exposure is key to our publicity and intrigues travelers to visit and discover the featured icons.  In fact, due to the colossal interest in Wicked Tuna, our current visitor Guide features the captains on our cover and has a Q&A inside with Captain Dave Marciano.

How does Discover Gloucester work with local officials, other tourism agencies, businesses and special events to strengthen tourism in the region? 
“Collaboration” is Discover Gloucester’s middle name!   We have learned that by working together we can accomplish far more than as individual businesses or as an organization.
We cooperatively work with the City of Gloucester and we are grateful for the Mayor’s support and dedication to Discover Gloucester.
We work with the City’s Harbormaster by producing a Boater’s VIP Welcome Kit, a nifty package of essential information handed to each incoming vessel renting city moorings. We are a tourism partner with Gloucester’s Schooner Festival. We create and produce efficiently priced coop advertising packages so that smaller businesses can participate in buying ads in publications that they might otherwise pass up.
In addition, I am a board member with North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. I am on the tourism council of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, the Gloucester 400 steering committee and on the Schooner Festival planning committee.
Thanks Elizabeth.

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