Big E receives Premier Tourism Attraction Award

Date: 10/2/2012

WEST SPRINGFIELD – Eastern States Exposition (ESE) and Greg Chiecko, ESE director of Sales, were presented with the Premier Tourism Attraction Award and the Larry D. Meehan Award, respectively, during the 25th annual Governor's Conference on Travel & Tourism at The Big E on Sept. 20, Massachusetts Day.

The Larry D. Meehan Award, presented to Chiecko and 12 other recipients, pays homage to those who have made major contributions to the expansion and vitality of Massachusetts' tourism industry. Chiecko serves on the board and is past chairman of the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau, which promotes the Pioneer Valley to develop its group tour business, and is actively involved with the American Bus Association, the National Tour Association, the International Association of Fairs and Expositions, and countless other organizations.

This was the inaugural year for the award, named for Meehan, vice president of Media Relations & Tourism Sales at the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. Meehan's career spans 32 years of promoting the Commonwealth as a premiere vacation destination.

ESE was one of 23 attractions designated as a Massachusetts Premier Tourism Attraction. They shared the honors with destinations such as the Cape Cod National Seashore, the JFK Presidential Library & Museum, Fenway Park, Six Flags and the Norman Rockwell Museum, Tanglewood and Yankee Candle, to name a few.

The conference, coordinated by the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT), and hosted by ESE, featured remarks from Gov. Deval Patrick, Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray, Sen. Eileen Donaghue and Rep. Sarah Peake, co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development, a presentation by Disney Institute Facilitator Jeff Noel, a special appearance by WCVB-TV's "Chronicle" Anchor Anthony Everett, and a 2012-2013 Massachusetts tourism marketing preview.

The Big E is the largest cultural event on the eastern seaboard and the eighth largest fair in the nation.