WORCESTER – Discover Central Massachusetts announced today that the Central Mass. Region has outpaced the state average growth in visitor spending according to figures provided by the Mass. Office of Travel and Tourism.

Between 2014 and 2018, the 35 communities serviced by Discover Central Massachusetts, which includes the city of Worcester, have experienced a 20.3 percent increase in domestic and international traveler direct spending. During the same period, the Commonwealth has grown by 17.8 percent.

“We’re encouraged by these numbers as we continue our efforts to make Worcester and the region a popular destination within New England. We look to increase tourism even further with the addition of Polar Park and the Worcester Red Sox in 2021 as well as another new hotel in Washington Square,” Worcester City Manager Edward M.Augustus, Jr. said.

In 2018, travelers visiting from 50 or more miles from their home, or who have stayed overnight in paid accommodations, spent $626 million in the Central Mass region. This spending supported 3,741 jobs and generated more than $32 million in state taxes and nearly $14 million in local taxes. These taxes include retail sales, rooms, meals, gas, property, payroll, and excise, among others.

“What we’re seeing from the impact of tourism is very positive. Worcester is outpacing the state average growth in visitor spending and the city is experiencing significant economic impact from these tourism dollars. Hotel demand remains strong, even with so many new rooms coming online,” said Troy Siebels, president of The Hanover Theatre and chair of the Discover Central Mass board of directors.

“The Discover Central Mass team works aggressively to promote the Central Mass region as a premiere destination for events and conventions, as well as a great place to visit. We have significantly increased our advertising and outreach efforts to highlight the region’s wonderful assets to potential visitors. The outcome has been incredibly positive. We have seen major increases in website traffic and increased engagement from meeting and event professionals. People are curious and want to explore Central Mass,” said Stephanie Ramey, executive director of Discover Central Mass.

Stephanie Ramey is the executive director of Discover Central Massachusetts. She can be reached via email.