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Home / Blog / Communities / Getting to Know Your RTC

Getting to Know Your RTC

Ricardo Guillaume, Program Officer

Costumed historians ride in a horse drawn buggy at Old Sturbridge Village. Photo: Old Sturbridge Village and Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. Some rights reserved.

The ecology of the creative economy contains many familiar partners including artists, cultural organizations, municipalities, businesses, schools, and Local Cultural Councils.

But is your community working with your Regional Tourism Council (RTC)? There are 16 RTCs charged with promoting Massachusetts tourism. Their focus on the travel/tourism/hospitality sectors could benefit your community, especially as the state re-opens and recovery from COVID-19 continues.

Mass Cultural Council’s Community Initiative team is working hard to strike up partnerships with officials working in every community. We spoke with a few RTCs earlier this year about the arts and culture community in their region before the pandemic hit.

Canal District Farmer’s Market in Worcester, MA. Photo: Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. Some rights reserved.

Discover Central Massachusetts

Stephanie L. Ramey was the Executive Director of Discover Central Massachusetts (DCM) up until May of this year. She is now with the Worcester Railers. DCM is a member of the Worcester Cultural Coalition, whose Worcester Creative Relief Fund supported artists and nonprofits in Central MA.

Tell us about your professional background, your role at Discover Central MA, and what it means to be an RTC.
My professional background has primarily consisted of marketing and sales. I love Worcester and the surrounding communities, so having an opportunity to serve as the Executive Director of Discover Central MA has been a tremendous privilege and incredibly rewarding. As a Regional Tourism Council, our organization has two primary objectives. The first is to promote Central Massachusetts as a premiere destination to host conventions, meetings, and events. Our second goal is to share why the region is an amazing place in an effort to drive visitors into the market. Both objectives greatly contribute to our state and local economy. Central Massachusetts is a diverse and vibrant and DCM works closely with cultural attractions and other agencies that contribute to our market’s wonderful ‘story’.

What kind of arts and culture/sciences/humanities offerings are available in your area?
The arts and culture scene in Worcester is booming. Thanks to the international mural festival, Pow! Wow!, we have spectacular murals across the entire city. Galleries and museums are plentiful and ranged from the new ArtsWorcester gallery to the Worcester Art Museum, home to over 38,000 pieces of work. Worcester is also home to a plethora of historic venues, concert halls and theaters. Visitors enjoy taking in concerts at Mechanics Hall and experiencing an off-Broadway production at The Hanover Theatre. The nature and science focused EcoTarium is a must-visit destination and nature enthusiasts adore Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston and Moore State Park in Paxton. History lovers also enjoy exploring Old Sturbridge Village or attending a workshop at the American Antiquarian Society. New England’s largest zoo, Southwick also calls Central Mass. home.

How does your RTC promote/advocate for these offerings and artists in your area? Do you collaborate with anyone?
DCM has a great relationship with city and town leadership across the region and partners directly with many of the organizations and businesses connected to tourism and hospitality. Our marketing strategy consists of a multi-faceted media campaign that includes digital advertising, social media, video, content generation, radio, and some print. There is no shortage of exhibits and events in Central Mass. The Discover Central MA! app is a great resource for things to do and places to visit.

People strolling on Commercial Street in Provincetown, MA
People strolling on Commercial Street in Provincetown, MA. Photo: imke.sta Flickr / Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitors Bureau

Wendy K. Northcross is CEO of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitors Bureau. She and her expert team at the chamber are critical to the work of an RTC. They are also leading the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force and advising Governor Baker’s Reopening Taskforce on supporting tourism during the pandemic.

Tell us about your professional background, your role at Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitors Bureau, and what it means to be an RTC.
The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce has been actively engaged in tourism promotion and community development for over 30 years. Both Patti Lloyd, VP of Sales, and I promote all things Cape Cod. As an RTC, we promote the entire destination and help people plan vacations, weddings, group tours, meetings, sporting events, and special events like the annual Hydrangea Festival or Quahog Day.

What kind of arts and culture/sciences/humanities offerings are available in your area?
Cape Cod was named one of the top 25 Arts Destinations by STYLE magazine years ago, recognizing our history as home to the nation’s first art colony (Provincetown) and a place that inspires artistic endeavors. We also are home to the world-renowned Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the marine science community that has grown up around it in Woods Hole or in Provincetown – where the Center for Coastal Studies has helped with protection of the whale population on the planet.

How does your RTC promote/advocate for these offerings and artists in your area? Do you collaborate with anyone?
We publish the Cape Cod Travel Guide and have recently launched a fabulous new website to guide visitors to 1000s of events, art galleries, and cultural attractions. We have produced many programs to support our artisan community, including the Arts & Artisans Trails of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket featuring driving and walking itineraries to studios and galleries throughout the region. We have produced the Sourcebook of Architectural & Design Elements, a resource for builders, decorators and homeowners to connect with local artisans in the creative sector. In all of these special marketing initiatives, we have many partners, including Coastal Community Capital, The Cotuit Center for the Arts, The Cultural Center of Cape Cod, The Homebuilders & Remodelers Association of Cape Cod, The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, and the chambers on both Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

Mass Cultural Council has been at the center of our efforts, with funding, guidance, inspiration, and support.  We have been  working to support the Cultural Districts, and to encourage more districts. We have guided a public art project, funding, and building art installations for all to enjoy in Orleans and Hyannis. We have worked with students at Sturgis High School to install public art in downtown Hyannis. And we are hoping to continue working with the local cultural councils in promoting their good work.

Starting line of the Falmouth Road Race.
Runners starting the Falmouth Road Race. Photo: Clara S. / Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Learn More about RTCs across the Commonwealth

Western Massachusetts
1Berkshire
Franklin County Chamber of Commerce
Hampshire County Tourism and Visitors Bureau
Mohawk Trail Association
West Mass: Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau

Central Massachusetts
Discover Central Massachusetts
Visit North Central Mass: Johnny Appleseed Country

North of Boston
Greater Merrimack Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau
North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau

Greater Boston
Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau
MetroWest Visitors Bureau

South of Boston
See Plymouth
Southeastern MA Visitors Bureau

Cape and the Islands
Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce
Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce
Nantucket Chamber of Commerce


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