Linn Parisi writes-
A team of Discover Gloucester partners just got back from attending the four day Discover New England Summit for the 4th time, held this year at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston. I’m happy to say that it went very well with lots of interest in visiting Gloucester. This trade show is appointment based where International tour companies (Buyers) meet with and learn about destinations, local accommodations and attractions (Sellers). There were five of us from Gloucester, the best representation we’ve had so far, and I couldn’t be more proud of the great job that the team did talking up all the reasons for travelers to come here for their holiday from Europe, South America and Asia. The international tour companies put together what they learn here and create vacation packages and itineraries that they sell to individuals in their countries. Our job was to pitch all the great things about our area and how they fit into the overall vacation experience starting with their flight into Boston. The buyers said they want a real New England experience – and what’s more real than Gloucester?
We did particularly well with companies from Italy, Germany, Norway and Japan. If you’ve seen the news of the new Boeing 787 coming to Boston you know Japan Airlines begins their non-stop flights from Tokyo to Boston on April 22, which will offer new adventures in New England for the Asian market. We got to attend a seminar to learn how to work with Japanese travelers. Did you know: They want to come here to learn about our culture, so trying to replicate a Japanese breakfast – poorly – would be offensive. They want to experience a good American breakfast – even though they might not eat any of it! Food portions should be cut in half. They would much rather have a small “perfect” lobster roll than a big overflowing roll. Two beds are a must, even for honeymooners.
I was talking with a Japanese woman at an appointment and she mentioned Gloucester’s relationship with our Japanese sister city Tomano. I was impressed! She then said “And we work with Robert, Why Not?” Of course, I’m thinking – yeah, why not? While we were waiting to go to the MFA for an evening event, another American helpfully said to a small group of Japanese Buyers “The ducks are here to bring us to the event!”. That took a few moments to translate and we had a good laugh. Once we got there, I could hear Pilar Garro from Beauport Museum, whose fabulous laugh you can hear from a mile away. Turns out she was showing others the silver pieces donated to the MFA by Henry Sleeper, who owned the Beauport mansion. Way to go, Henry! We’re all still trying to figure out what’s behind the name of one Italian tour company name: “Quiiky”!
I’m extremely pleased that contracts are being written between DNE Summit Buyers and Discover Gloucester partners right now, building on recent and past exposure at this trade show. Many companies will be including Gloucester and the area in itineraries for their clients. Woot!
On Sunday before the trade show began I was showing a rep from Germany around Gloucester, She’s looking for another accommodation to recommend to her clients. I showed her a couple, and then drove her by the Birdseye site and she said “Now you’re talking!” She wants a hotel where people can walk to dining, shopping and things to do.
Another company’s rep I spoke with, who knows Gloucester well, jumped up out of her seat to high five me when I told her that Gloucester might be getting a new hotel.
Discover Gloucester partners are working very hard to promote our amazing area to people beyond our amazing area. We are entering our 5th year and it’s great to see the efforts paying off.