Provincetown visitors are sought-after white, affluent and more diverse crowds
PROVINCETOWN – New data highlights the lack of diversity among tourists coming to Provincetown and the city’s tourism department is making changes to attract a wider range of visitors.
The city updated its marketing grant applications to focus more on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
“We’re welcoming and inclusive in Provincetown, but we’re not really diverse,” said tourism manager Anthony Fuccillo. “By doing this, the Visitor Services Board and the Department of Tourism are communicating to our community that DEI is important to Provincetown and we want to embrace it.”
The focus on expanding tourist diversity follows the 2021 mayoral and municipal elections to create and fund the city’s first Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Resident Donna Walker was hired as manager and began work on May 9.
The city uses the Placer.ai platform to track the ethnicity and income level of visitors. In taxation
2022, Placer.ai determined that 82.4% of visitors to Provincetown were white, 7.7% were Hispanic, 5.3% were Asian, and 4.7% were African American. The average visitor income was $200,000.
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Placer.ai tracks visitors’ cell phones and mobile apps they use, Fuccillo said.
“It’s completely anonymous and non-invasive,” he said. “We get information about visitors. We know how long they stay, how far they come. We can identify it to times and events.
Fuccillo was discouraged by the diversity numbers, but hopes the city’s efforts to reach a broader tourist base will succeed.
In total, the city’s annual tourism economy is at least $250 million, based on trackable revenue and economic indicators compiled by the city’s tourism department.
“Thanks to the marketing we’ve done over the past 12 to 18 months, we’re more inclusive,” Fuccillo said. “Everyone is welcome in Provincetown.”
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Fuccillo said he’s noticed businesses hiring more diverse performers, which in turn could encourage more diverse tourists.
Walker wasn’t surprised by the lack of diversity among tourists and is happy to see the city taking steps to attract different people.
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“I see it as a train that’s on track and has left the station and I only see good things happening with the tourist board and the (Visitor Services Board),” she said . “They are looking for solutions to issues around inclusion.”
Generally, the city’s new Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion aims to close equity gaps by supporting and promoting social, racial and social equity, diversity and inclusion. in the public and private sectors, according to the mandate of the municipal meeting of 2021.
The presence of the office at City Hall is an acknowledgment of these values which are essential to form the cornerstone of a fair, healthy, compassionate and vibrant community, according to the article of the mandate.
Several towns on Cape Cod have established offices and committees dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion.
What are the new Provincetown DEI grant requirements?
The city distributes about $200,000 each year in marketing grants to groups that plan events. Most of the recipients are local, including the Provincetown Food & Wine Festival ($9,661.50), the Provincetown Film Festival ($17,000), and the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival ($8,000).
The city also provides matching grants that require organizations to contribute the same amount in marketing funds. Matching grant recipients included $8,000 for the Provincetown Art Association and Museum and $20,000 for the Provincetown Business Guild.
Grant funds may only be used for marketing, including website development, hiring a public relations agency, and advertising.
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Funding for the grant comes from a percentage of the town’s annual local room tax proceeds, earmarked for marketing, beautification and tourism enhancement purposes in Provincetown and approved by an annual vote of the municipal assembly.
“The goal is really to bring visitors to Provincetown to help boost the tourism economy,” Fuccillo said.
The new applications will include the following questions focused on diversity, equity and inclusion:
- Are equity and inclusion reflected in the goals and objectives of the event?
- Describe what your organization is doing to foster greater diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Describe the leadership composition of the organization in terms of diversity and how it is or is not prioritized.
Christine McCarthy, CEO of the art association and museum, is delighted that Provincetown is actively trying to appeal to different communities and sees social media as a useful tool.
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“Our online platforms – eblasts, Facebook, Instagram – are really helpful,” she said. “That’s how we get our word out more about inclusion and how we want different people to participate.”
Staff writer Mary Ann Bragg contributed to this story.
When to apply for grants
Updated marketing grant applications will go live in October and are due December 5. Typically, 40-45 organizations apply each year. For more information, visit the Department of Tourism homepage at https://www.provincetown-ma.gov/591/Tourism.