September 12, 2016

Tourism travel up in Central Mass.

Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism via Flickr
The Nashoba Valley Winery is among the region's many tourist destinations.

Tourism travel is up in North Central Massachusetts, according to the latest hotel tax data for the region's largest communities.

The data was collated in the Massachusetts Department of Revenue's Municipal Data Bank and validates that North Central is growing as a popular destination, said Suzanne Farias, the board chair of the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association -- an affiliate of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. This boost has been a result of concerted efforts locally and by state officials to promote the area, she said.

Farias cited Great Wolf Lodge -- a water park, hotel and conference space -- in Fitchburg as an example of tourism destinations in the region.

"With that hotel online, room tax revenue spiked for Fitchburg in fiscal year 2015 to $937,000. That growth continued in fiscal year 2016, with an 8-percent increase bringing revenue to over $1 million," she said in a statement.

Fitchburg is not the only community seeing a boost in travelers staying overnight. Leominster had a 27.5-percent boost to hotel tax revenue in 2016, bringing the total figure up to $281,892. Gardner also saw a 12.4-percent increase to $114,411 in hotel tax revenue.

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