The Boston hospitality industry has a flashy new look to promote itself to travelers, and a new tagline: "Boston never gets old."
It was unveiled at an industry event Tuesday night, when the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau announced it was changing its name to Meet Boston.
The idea is to change what’s old and embrace the new, without completely tossing out the city’s undeniable connection to history.
“It doesn't dismiss our history by any stretch,” said Meet Boston CEO Martha Sheridan. “It accentuates it with all the new and amazing diversity, activities and development that is happening in the city right now.”
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The winter wave of new advertising, featuring Boston-based celebrity chef Tiffani Faison, elevates the culinary world.
The director of the campaign is Roxbury native DeMane Davis, who has directed popular television shows like “Queen Sugar” and “How to Get Away with Murder.”
The response in the room at the unveiling was favorable.
“What I like is that it brings the energy of what Boston is today,” said entrepreneur Darryl Settles who has long advocated for a change in messaging about the city as a destination.
A marketing success might be a blessing and a curse. While hospitality, especially hotels, is on an undeniable comeback since the start of the pandemic, there’s a difficult-to-solve shortage of workers. If new marketing generates demand for new visitors, it’ll take extra effort to draw in new workers.
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U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, until last year the mayor of Boston, wants to double down on an effort to beef up the city’s hospitality workforce. He attended the industry launch event at Big Night Live in Boston, and discussed the pressing need to attract workers back to hospitality.
“I think that if we do this right, working with the state, working with the governor and the city and the federal government — we shouldn't tell anyone how to do it — but we should be working together collectively to make it happen,” Walsh said.
He cited Department of Labor statistics that suggest hospitality job wages are up about 10% since before the pandemic. Statistics also show 260,800 hospitality workers in the greater Boston area as of September, 25,000 short of employment levels before the pandemic.