Anthony Ching, from the Hawaii Community Development Authority in Honolulu, said he was struck by how Newburyport has been able to transform its waterfront area into a destination point.
"It would be interesting to see this at night," Ching said, adding there are areas in Honolulu that could benefit from Newburyport's planning successes.
The tour continued afterward to the Custom House Maritime Museum and then additional destinations around the waterfront.
Another tour guide, Jay Williamson, curator of the Historical Society of Old Newbury's Cushing House Museum in Newburyport, called the city's transformations a real success story. He said it made sense that other planners would want to glean some of its success. Whether that's possible is another matter, he said, as times have changed as has the amount of money available for such sweeping changes.
"People want to learn from history; that's what we do as a society," Williamson said.