From left, Tom Fitzmaurice, GMVCVB; Ted Panos, 980 WCAP; City Manager Eileen Donoghue; Peter Aucella, Lowell National Historical Park; and state Rep. Tom
From left, Tom Fitzmaurice, GMVCVB; Ted Panos, 980 WCAP; City Manager Eileen Donoghue; Peter Aucella, Lowell National Historical Park; and state Rep. Tom Golden. COURTESY PHOTO

The Greater Merrimack Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau recently held its annual Tourism Industry Breakfast at Lowell Memorial Auditorium. Members from across the region attended to learn about updates in the travel and tourism industry across Massachusetts and the Merrimack Valley.

Tony D'Agostino, the research director at the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, presented statistics on Greater Merrimack Valley's economic impact in 2017. Overall, the region generated $1,065,480,019 in domestic spending, $62,565,178 in state taxes, and $29,785,458 in local taxes. In addition, the travel and tourism industry in the Merrimack Valley supported 8,727 jobs in 2017.

Those in attendance also heard from Lowell City Manager Eileen Donoghue and Peter Aucella of Lowell National Historical Park in a panel moderated by Ted Panos of 980 WCAP.

"This annual event is the perfect opportunity for GMVCVB members to see the distinct impact our industry has on the Massachusetts economy," said Tom Fitzmaurice, GMVCVB's executive director. "Our members and their properties and businesses are what make up the heart of tourism in the Merrimack Valley. It's their hard work and dedication that encourage people to explore the region and to come back again and again."

The 2019 GMVCVB board of directors was also announced at the breakfast.

Officers are state Rep. Thomas Golden Jr.


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, State House, co-chair; Pete Lally, Spectacle Management, co-chair; Dave Karpinsky, Lowell Five Bank, treasurer; Colleen Cox, Middlesex Community College, clerk; Celeste Bernardo, Lowell National Historical Park, National Park board liaison.

Members at large are: Emily Byrne, UMass Lowell; Dawn Fisher, Aurora Restaurant Consulting; Kris Frazee, Courtyard by Marriott Billerica; Mike Gay, Plaza Limousine; Bob Howard, Heritage Farm Ice Cream & Restaurant; Janet Leggat, Cruise Holidays; Dave Lezenski, Lowell High School; Rick Lofria, Boston Marriott Burlington; Soben Pin, Khmer Post; Scott Plath, Cobblestones of Lowell; Michael Riley, Lenzi's Catering; Jim Shaw, Colonial Times Magazine; Shawn Smith, Lowell Spinners; and Keith Vaske, Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell.

For more information on the GMVCVB, visit www.merrimackvalley.org.