Press About The Berkshires

Region Saw Hefty Jump in Tourism Spending Last Year

PITTSFIELD — Tourism helped drive the Berkshire economy in 2017, contributing 8 percent more to economic growth than the year before, according to figures from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.

That 8 percent rise in the total economic impact of tourism in the county — from $764 million in 2016 to $827 million last year — is said to be unusual.

“It’s the biggest we’ve seen in several years,” said 1Berkshire President and CEO Jonathan Butler, whose organization includes the former Berkshire Visitors Bureau.

Yearly increases are normally 1 to 2 percent, Butler said.

Direct visitor spending in the Berkshires increased for the eighth straight year in 2017, going from $462 million to $517 million, according to the state statistics. That sum was $208 million when the increases began in 2009. Read more about the 8 percent jump >>