Vendor selected to create and launch a visit Boston tourism campaign
Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced today that the City of Boston, as a part of a thorough Request for Proposals (RFP) review process, has selected a partnership between Colette Phillips Communications, the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Proverb to create a campaign that will position Boston as a safe, welcoming and vibrant travel destination. The goal of the campaign is to increase awareness and active promotion, and drive trips to Boston from diverse local and regional visitors, while supporting the public health guidance that's in place. The team has been charged with highlighting attractions and events that speak to the experiences of people of color in Boston, and the campaign will highlight local minority-owned and run businesses and organizations.
"This tourism campaign will warmly welcome diverse local and regional visitors to explore our city's rich history, vibrant neighborhoods, and legacy of arts, culture, and education, while adhering to public health guidelines," said Mayor Walsh. "COVID-19 has been incredibly hard on Boston's tourism industry, and we look forward to working with a local marketing firm as we help our small businesses recover, and showcase all the diverse cultures our city has to offer."
As the City of Boston plans to recover stronger and more equitably from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arts, Culture, and Tourism industry is a critical component to the future success. The selected vendor is tasked with assembling a local tourism campaign to draw diverse tourists to take advantage of all that Boston has to offer, as the City safely responds to the impact of COVID-19 and supports its hardest hit industries.
Together, Colette Phillips Communications, Inc. (CPC), Boston's oldest minority owned and operated marketing communications firm; Proverb, a Boston-based, minority owned, award-winning creative branding, design, and advertising agency made up of 25 talented, diverse, and strategic creatives; and the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB), the city's primary marketing and visitor services organization, will work to create a new and effective public-private model for inclusive collaboration and economic opportunity.
"Boston is culturally rich, historically significant, fun and innovative," said Chief of Economic Development John Barros. "We are excited to work with a Black and woman owned business as the primary vendor of an exciting team, to showcase Boston as a welcoming city that truly has something for everyone."
While contributing 4.83 percent to the Gross City Product, prior to the pandemic, the categories of Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation; Accommodation and Food Services made up 10.4 percent of the City's jobs. The Arts, Culture, and Tourism sectors provide approximately three times the jobs in Boston compared to the nation overall, and create more jobs than either educational institutions or medical institutions. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, in 2019, Greater Boston hosted over 19.9 million domestic and 2.9 million international visitors per year.
Travelers adhering to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Travel Order, effective August 1, 2020, are welcome to visit Boston and responsibly enjoy its many tourist attractions. All visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, who do not meet an exemption, are required to: Complete the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival, unless they are visiting from a lower-risk state designated by the Department of Public Health; and quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts.
"Boston has so much to offer as a tourist destination, from our diverse restaurant scene to our vibrant cultural attractions and museums," said Kate Davis, Director of the Mayor's Office of Tourism, Sports, and Entertainment. "With this campaign, we welcome regional and local travelers to explore all that Boston has to offer, and invite Bostonians to explore their own backyard in a new way too."
Travelers to the City of Boston are encouraged to review the latest public health guidance on boston.gov/covid-19. Travelers may also prepare for their visit by learning about the City of Boston's reopening efforts and public health guidelines for businesses at boston.gov/reopening.
This project will be funded by CARES Act Relief Funding. In accordance with the regulations, the project must provide resources or assistance to mitigate effects on health and/or provide economic support.
This announcement is part of the Walsh Administration's ongoing work to support small businesses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. On October 2, Mayor Walsh, announced the expansion of the Reopen Boston Fund to ensure restaurants in Boston are able to purchase necessary equipment for outdoor dining this fall and winter. On September 15, Mayor Walsh announced the City of Boston is extending the outdoor dining season to better serve restaurants and patrons. On May 21, the City of Boston announced new measures to help restaurants during the ongoing public health crisis, including expanding outdoor seating, and waiving fees for outdoor space.
To date, nearly $6.7 million in debt-free grants have been distributed to over 1,850 small businesses in every neighborhood across the City of Boston through the Office of Economic Development's Small Business Relief Fund. The businesses receiving grants represent industries most impacted by closures, policies, or general loss of revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Reopen Boston Fund, launched in May 2020, continues to offer grants to Boston's businesses of up to $2,000 to assist with reopening costs, including for PPE. The Reopen Boston Fund has issued more than $2.65 million in grants to 1,471 businesses and is still accepting applications at boston.gov/reopen-fund.
To further assist the City's small businesses, the City of Boston created a platform to help businesses source the personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies they will be required to have available in order to ensure the safety of employees and customers as industries begin to reopen. Along with industry-specific reopening requirements, the page includes a list of self-identified, local suppliers of PPE and cleaning supplies, information on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' vendor database, and partner organizations helping to connect businesses with vendors.
In addition, in October, Mayor Walsh announced a collaboration with SimpliSafe, maker of award-winning home security systems, to donate 250 security systems and 12 months of free professional monitoring to Boston's small business community in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In July, Mayor Walsh announced a new ramp initiative to increase accessibility to outdoor dining amidst the COVID-19 public health emergency. Restaurants that have been granted a temporary license to have seating in a parking space or on the street are eligible to request a portable ramp.