North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau: A Conversation with Ann Marie Casey 

October 13, 2021 10:18 am Published by

There are 34 fascinating and uniquely different cities and towns across Essex County. The region is well-known for its hospitality and travel and tourism sector. Unfortunately, the pandemic has hit our region hard. Part of our mission at the North Shore Alliance is to put visitors, businesses, and local residents in touch with other organizations that can help revitalize and rebuild our regional economy. 

To do this, we rely heavily on many of the organizations tasked with marketing and showcasing all that is wonderful about living in our region. One such organization is North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. 

In a recent North Shore Conversations radio broadcast on 104.9FM, we had an opportunity to chat with Ann Marie Casey, Executive Director of North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau to find out where things stand in our region and what activities and opportunities are being offered in the months ahead. 

What Is The North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau? 

North of Boston (NOB) is a private, non-profit, membership based organization responsible for promotion of Essex County as a travel destination. It is one of the state’s 16 regional tourism councils. North of Boston is the official liaison between the North of Boston region and the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.

During our conversation with Ann Marie, she pointed out several tools that can be found on the website that can be helpful to businesses who would like to post their events on the calendar as well as for tourists who are searching online for events to attend in our region. 

Current Trends in Tourism 

Due to restrictions caused by covid-19, many travelers are choosing to forgo their international travels and are choosing domestic leisure travel instead. Casey explains that, “For the North of Boston region, this is excellent news! It means more people exploring their own backyard for tourism, especially since so many people can’t wait to get out of their homes.”

She has been keeping a close eye on the dashboard on the US Travel Association site that monitors the tourism and hospitality industry across the country. 

Unfortunately, her research shows that Massachusetts in general was one of the hardest hit areas of the country in terms of travel spending losses, only behind New York City and Washington D.C.. 

The statistics show that while the nation as a whole experienced a 21% drop in tourism spending, the state of Massachusetts saw a staggering 47% drop in tourism spending. 

Over the next few months, Casey hopes to continue supporting businesses in our region by encouraging tourism in order to rebuild from these dismal numbers. 

row boat in Gloucester

Why Visit North of Boston? 

When asked to explain to listeners during our conversation about why someone would want to visit our area, she had so many reasons she couldn’t fit it all in on one radio show. 

She encouraged listeners to visit the North of Boston website and explore the calendar of events that is being added to on a daily basis. 

On the site, she explained, visitors can find what is open and what requires reservations due to a decrease in capacity. She also mentioned that it is there that visitors can find out what events have capacity limits and which require a mask. Her mantra is “know before you go” in order to make the most of your trips. 

North of Boston is such a uniquely positioned area that offers so many events and opportunities year round. Casey was quick to note all of the events that are returning this year such as the Topsfield Fair, Schooner Festival in Gloucester, Haunted Happenings in Salem, Concerts at Salem Willows, North Shore Music Theater performances, harbor cruises, and many more. 

For more information on things to do across the North of Boston region, take a look at the events calendar on the North of Boston site. If your business is interested in becoming a member, you will find some fantastic resources, networking opportunities, and search engine marketing resources available by joining our organization. 


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This post was written by Mike Sperling