SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Western Massachusetts is seeing an uptick in tourism with recent attractions like the Dr. Seuss Museum and of course, MGM.

According Mary Kay Wydra, president of the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitor's Bureau, western Mass. has become a destination.

"We offer visitors affordable prices. We offer great accessibility and we have an abundance of attractions for people to enjoy," Wydra noted.

Attractions like the Basketball Hall of Fame, Six Flags, the Dr. Seuss Museum, and most recently, MGM Springfield.

"We've got some big brands that people recognize," Wydra added.

When the Dr. Seuss Museum opened in the summer of 2017, the number of domestic and international travelers to western Massachusetts spiked.

In an economic impact study by the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourisim, they report $608 million dollars were spent by tourists in 2017. That's a 6.5 percent increase from the previous year.

That money supported 3,900 jobs and generated $47 million in state and local taxes.

Those numbers came before the openeing of MGM, which brought roughly one million visitors in the first six weeks of operation.

Today, the state gaming commission released the numbers on the total revenue of MGM since opening in August. They have generated over $25 million in state taxes alone.

"I think people were watching with MGM coming on board and there has been some private development as a result of that," Wydra said.

The bureau of tourism told Western Mass News that although major attractions like MGM are located in Springfield, they are seeing an uptick in tourism throughout all of Hampden County.

"I think that while those bring brands are located down here, it does ripple and impact all of western Massachusetts as a result," Wydra explained.

Wydra said that the growth in Hampden County extends to Franklin and Hampshire Counties - each with its unique appeal.

"I think our three counties strung together make for a really great destination," Wydra said.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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