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Over 100 Attended the First Massachusetts 400 Forum on March 16

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Over 100 representatives from the state and local legislatures, state agencies, cultural and tourism organizations, and communities approaching significant anniversaries attended the Massachusetts 400 Forum on March 16 hosted by Plymouth 400, Inc. at Plimoth Plantation. U.S. Representative William Keating, Massachusetts State Senator Vinny deMacedo, and Massachusetts Representatives Mathew Muratore of Plymouth and Paul Tucker of Salem were in attendance to learn and support the initiative of an international campaign to promote the many upcoming 400th anniversaries in the Commonwealth’s most historic communities, namely Boston, Salem, and Quincy.
What happened at the Massachusetts 400 Forum?
U.S. Representative William Keating discussed the importance of these anniversaries in terms of educating and engaging others on the history of the region and the economic impact that they will have on the Commonwealth as a whole. Massachusetts State Senator Vinny deMacedo emphasized in his remarks the fact that the Town of Plymouth has consistently supported tourism in Plymouth and that other communities approaching significant anniversaries and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts should do the same. Linda Coombs, Plymouth 400 Inc. Director and Chair of the Wampanoag Advisory Committee addressed the importance of including Native history in all of Plymouth 400’s outreach, as many pieces of Wampanoag history in particular are often left out of history books when discussing the founding of Plymouth Colony. Amanda Lumley, Chief Executive of Destination Plymouth (UK) and Dom Jinks, Executive Director for Plymouth Culture (UK) spoke to the partnership that was formalized this weekend between the two Plymouths and the international cross-marketing opportunities this collaboration allows.
A panel discussion on the benefits of a long-term tourism campaign, featuring Sue Norrington-Davies, Director of Business Development at TourMappers; Jackie Ennis, Consultant to Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism; and Taunya Wolfe, Owner/President of Wolfe Adventure Tours, educated the audience on how an extended campaign supported by and promoting all of the upcoming historic anniversaries will benefit the tourism industry. Prosody Creative Services, the award-winning agency that produced signature events for Jamestown’s 400th anniversary in 2007, shared their experiences in working with three other 400th anniversaries in the U.S. (Santa Fe, New York, and Jamestown), as well as other large-scale events such as the Olympics and Papal visits.
Who attended the MA 400 Forum?
As previously mentioned, U.S. Representative William Keating, Massachusetts State Senator Vinny deMacedo, and Massachusetts Representatives Mathew Muratore (Plymouth) and Paul Tucker (Salem), and representatives from Representative Sarah Peake (Provincetown) and Cory Atkins (Concord) Chair of the Tourism Arts And Culture committee were in attendance. State Agencies including the Massachusetts Department of Recreation and Conservation, Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, the Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs, and Massachusetts Cultural Council, and tourism entities including Visit New England, Greater Boston CVB, Destination Salem, Plymouth County CVB,  and Mayor Marty Walsh’s Tourism Arts and Sports director were present.
Members of communities also approaching historic 400th anniversaries, like Provincetown, Boston, Salem, Quincy, Weymouth, Gloucester, Martha’s Vineyard, and New Bedford, patcipated at the Forum, and, of course, there were many Plymouth organizations and community members at the event, including the Town of Plymouth, our Board of Selectmen, Plymouth Public Schools, Destination Plymouth, PAC-TV, Gatehouse Media, Plimoth Plantation, Mayflower Brewing Company, Plymouth Bay Winery, and First Parish of Plymouth.
Will there be more Forums?
Yes. The Massachusetts 400 Forum was an opportunity for legislators, state agencies, and cultural and tourism entities to create partnerships that will allow these communities to leverage their upcoming anniversaries to significantly impact the economy and increase visibility nationally and internationally, and it was successful in creating important dialogue amongst the communities and organizations in attendance. Plymouth 400 will continue to host these Forums and communicate with those who participate to grow our network and engage with more communities to ensure that Plymouth’s 400th and those that follow will have the most positive economic impact on the Commonwealth.

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