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Michael Quinlin
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(Boston) –– December 17, 2018 –  The  travel and tourism industry in Massachusetts had a record-setting year in 2017, with nearly 29 million domestic and international visitors spending $22.86 billion in the Commonwealth, a 4.8% increase over 2016.  This direct spending generated $1.5 billion in combined state and local taxes, an increase of 4.4% from 2016, according to Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT).

Domestic travel direct spending in Massachusetts grew to $18.73 billion, a 4.6% increase, while international visitors spent $4.13 billion in 2017, a 5.7% increase from the previous year, according to numbers released by the U.S. Travel Association and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The significant increase of 5.7% in international visitor spending sharply contrasts with international spending in the rest of the U.S., which increased by a mere 0.1%.

“Massachusetts continues to be a global destination, thanks to our wonderful tourism assets, our strong innovation economy, and world-class educational and research centers,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “International and domestic visitors contribute to the Commonwealth’s steady job growth and its overall economic vitality.”

The number of jobs increased by 3,100 over 2016, to a total of 149,400 jobs in 2017.  These jobs range from entry level positions to middle management jobs to career paths, underscoring the diversity of the Commonwealth’s travel and tourism industry.

“Massachusetts workers, families, businesses and communities all benefit from our industry,” said Assistant Secretary of Business Development and International Trade Nam Pham.  “New jobs help nurture small businesses, which form the backbone of the Massachusetts economy.”

“Thanks to 58 international and 76 domestic direct route flights in and out of Logan International Airport, travelers have more options than ever to visit Massachusetts,” said Executive Director of Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism Francois-Laurent Nivaud.   “Our abundant cultural, historical, culinary and outdoor activities and robust leisure and hospitality industry have made Massachusetts a four-season destination for visitors.”

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Note: The United States Department of Commerce recently revised their 2016 overseas volume estimates to the U.S. and all the states.  These revisions sharply increased the volume and spending numbers contained in the above international estimates for both 2017 and 2016.


About the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism 

MOTT’s mission is to promote Massachusetts as both a leisure and business travel destination for domestic and international visitors.  MOTT highlights the state’s culture, history, cuisine and outdoor resources, working closely with 16 regional tourism councils across the state and with larger tourism alliances such as Discover New England and BrandUSA.