Connecticut Tourism Campaign Reaps Rewards
Connecticut is continuing to reap the rewards of its Still Revolutionary marketing campaign, which was originally launched in 2012 and designed to showcase the state as an authentic, multi-dimensional travel destination.
Based on the results of a recent economic impact study, in 2013 tourism generated $14 billion in sales from visitors, a 3 percent increase over 2012 numbers.
“The state’s tourism marketing campaign continues to be successful in attracting more people to visit every county in Connecticut and growing our economy,” said Randy Fiveash, director of tourism for the Connecticut Office of Tourism. “To provide a sense of scale, one of nearly 20 jobs in Connecticut is supported by visitor spending.”
While sales numbers for last year are not yet available, Fiveash pointed to research conducted by MMGY Global in late 2014 as further evidence of the campaign’s continued effectiveness. “In a survey of those who have seen the state’s advertising campaign, the number of people who say Connecticut has ‘lots of things to see and do’ has doubled, the number of people who perceive Connecticut as ‘a great place to spend time with children’ and ‘rest and relax’ has increased by more than 50 percent as well,” he said.
Additionally, Fiveash noted that the state’s tourism Web site, CTvisit.com, provided travel advice to 3 million visitors during 2014 – double the number in 2012.
The new spring/summer campaign is designed to illustrate what distinguishes Connecticut as a tourism destination from its nearby counterparts.
“The spring/summer campaign audience is active leisure travelers aged 25 to 54 who live in New Haven and Hartford, as well as Connecticut and New York City, Boston, Philadelphia and Rhode Island with college degrees and annual household incomes greater than $100,000,” Fiveash said, adding that the campaign heavily targets women, who frequently plan and book family travel.
Specifically, the campaign highlights Connecticut’s broad range of activities by pairing the state’s destinations to illustrate its diversity and ability to strike a balance between relaxing and active pursuits, historic and contemporary attractions and cultural and nature-oriented activities.
Connecticut’s ever-growing accommodations portfolio runs the gamut as well. In addition to such resort casinos as Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, visitors will find well-known hotel brands, and a healthy number of B&Bs and boutique hotels.
“Over the last few years we’ve had a new generation of boutique hotels spring up across the state, which offer travelers clean, bold designs and big-city service,” Fiveash said. “For example, the minimalist J House Greenwich has iPad-controlled rooms and a modern poolside lounge. Hotel Zero Degrees in Stamford has an urban vibe and playful décor, and the EVEN Hotel Norwalk boasts ample green space and sustainable design elements to help guests maintain balance.”
The state has also upped the number of its green offerings over the last several years. “There are now 31 hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts participating in the Connecticut Green Lodging program sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection and Connecticut Office of Tourism,” he said.
Going forward, Fiveash believes Connecticut’s diverse tourism offerings are what will distinguish the state from the neighboring competition. “Our wide range of offerings differentiates us from our northern New England neighbors and major urban centers, as we offer both ends of the spectrum,” he said. “You can, for example, have an exciting morning at Brownstone Park in Bristol going ziplining and then enjoy a relaxing afternoon enjoying the interesting art at Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven.”
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