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By Bob Weiss, CBS Boston

BOSTON(CBS) – In the worst rain storm of the season on Thursday, Massachusetts reported its best tourism numbers at the 27th annual Governor’s Conference held at The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

Last year, The Commonwealth hosted 25 million domestic and international travelers who spent a combined $18.5 billion in the state.

The JFK Library suffered water damage to one part of its exhibit space during the storm.

Lee Statham, Marketing Director for The JFK memorial site also announced that the Library and Museum would close for three months starting in January as all phases of its visitor operations get a digital upgrade.

Over 400 tourism officials attended the one day conference from across the state.

In his remarks, Governor Deval Patrick indicated that another new international airline was strongly considering flights from Boston to South America. An official announcement is expected before he leaves office in January.

“Latin America is an undervalued opportunity,” said the Governor.

The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism is also responsible for sport’s marketing and film-making in the Bay State.

Dan O’Connell, who heads the private partnership group that hopes to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to Massachusetts, gave a presentation on the status of this project. The U.S. Olympic Committee will make a site visit to Boston next month.

Bob Weiss, CBS Boston travel contributor

Bob Weiss, CBS Boston travel contributor

O’Connell said that the Boston Olympics would be “The Walkable Games”, but some events would be held across the state.

In a panel discussion, the state’s tourism promotion partners from the UK, Italy, France, Germany, Japan and Canada discussed a number of special promotions they have done. The group praised the ease of getting to Logan Airport as a major advantage for Massachusetts, along with its history.

In a surprise development, the group called on Massport to sell lobsters for international travelers to take home in Terminal E at Logan.

Tourism will support over 130,000 jobs in Massachusetts this year.

‘All Things Travel” with Bob Weiss can be heard on WBZ News Radio.

MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON

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