International tourists to Massachusetts spent only about half as much money here in 2022 than they did before the pandemic, but a boost in spending among visitors from other parts of this country helped push the economic impact of the state’s travel and tourism industry to $24.2 billion in direct spending last year.

The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism said Tuesday that 21 million domestic and international travelers spent money in Massachusetts last year, supporting 131,200 jobs and generating $1.9 billion in taxes for the state and its municipalities.

Domestic tourists spent $22 billion, exceeding the pre-pandemic calendar year total of $20.8 billion in 2019, while international travelers spent $2.2 billion, still well shy of the $4 billion spent in 2019.

“Tourism plays such an important role in our state’s economic vision, and we’re excited to see the industry had a positive impact in 2022, generating thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in spending,” Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao said. “We look forward to building on this success in the year ahead and continuing to make Massachusetts a year-round destination for travelers across the globe.”

MOTT pointed to signs that 2023 is shaping up to be a positive year for tourism to Massachusetts. Through the first five months of this year, rooms revenue for the Massachusetts lodging industry totaled $1.5 billion, 18 percent higher than through the same period in 2022.

MOTT is newly under the leadership of Executive Director Kate Fox, who previously led the tourism office in Salem.

The office also recently launched a “Massachusetts For Us All” campaign of highway billboards across New England, Florida, Texas and New York to promote Massachusetts as a welcoming place for all people, particularly members of the LGBTQ communities.

(Copyright (c) 2023 State House News Service.

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