The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism recognized Salem Haunted Happenings as a Premier Tourism Attraction at the annual Governor's Conference for Travel & Tourism on September 20.
The award was given to Destination Salem, but that was in name only. Destination Salem has been involved in the promotion and marketing of Salem Haunted Happenings since 2006, and we handled the event management in 2000 and 2001 (I have fond memories of pumpkin bowling on the Common in 2000). Prior to that, however, Salem Haunted Happenings was developed by and managed by many people, groups, and organizations.
To the people who 31 years ago decided that kids needed to feel safe and have fun on Halloween, I tip my hat. To the people who thought the celebration of Halloween could be extended to a weekend, a long weekend, two weeks, three weeks, and - well, why not?! - the entire month of October, I give great credit and thanks. Salem Haunted Happenings makes our jobs very interesting in October.
There must be a finite number of destination marketing professionals who can search their inbox for "Zombie" and receive dozens of responses.That is just one of the details of Destination Salem that we love.
As we prepare for the Grand Parade and the formal kick-off to another year of Salem Haunted Happenings, I extend my thanks to everyone who has extended their hours, enhanced their programming, and put their personal lives on hold in order to make Haunted Happenings a howling success. I realize there is monetary gain to be had by working so hard in October, but that doesn't mean you aren't working a whole lot more than you're sleeping.
Thanks also to the front line staff who are answering the same questions over and over and over again. Where is the bathroom? Is my car going to get towed? And, our favorite, "What should we do today?" (Where do we start?!)
As we cross our fingers and hope for good weather and hearty travelers, know that Massachusetts has recognized Salem Haunted Happenings as a premier tourism attraction. Your hard work is known, is respected, and has been rewarded.
Happy Haunted Happenings!