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$1.2 Million Marketing Campaign to Support Connecticut Tourism Businesses Announced

State officials outline benefits of campaign and opportunity for businesses to participate

HARTFORD, Conn., (June 16, 2020) – The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and its Office of Tourism (COT) announced a new $1.2 million marketing campaign to help reinvigorate revenues for the thousands of tourism businesses across the state impacted by temporary closures driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This multi-media campaign will begin the week of June 22 and extend through Labor Day. Through a unifying campaign theme, “So Good to See You, Connecticut,” it will encourage both Connecticut residents and likely travelers from nearby states to explore all Connecticut has to offer through fresh eyes. That messaging will be delivered through an integrated array of marketing tactics, including:

  • robust paid social media campaigns across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest
  • new content on CTvisit.com, the state’s official tourism website (~7M visitors in 2019)
  • paid search marketing and content seeding programs
  • a new video series showcasing how tourism businesses have adapted their operations to optimize visitors’ safety as well as enhance their experience
  • a new TV campaign that will run in-state as well as on streaming TV in proximity states beginning in July

For more details, download the campaign fact sheet here.

Connecticut’s tourism industry is a key contributor to the state’s economy, generating significant business sales, tax revenues and statewide jobs. According to the Connecticut Department of Labor, unemployment in this sector reached 50.1% in April — making it the ‘supersector’ hardest hit by COVID-19-related job losses.

“We know our state’s tourism and hospitality-related businesses have been extremely challenged by this pandemic,” said David Lehman, commissioner, DECD. “But we also know they are particularly well-positioned to capitalize on the pent-up consumer demand to get out and do things again without having to travel too far from home.”

Over the coming months, the campaign will feature a variety of hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, attractions, museums, wineries, breweries, arts and cultural organizations, historical sites, nature centers and more that have reopened across the state. To maximize their inclusion in this campaign, the Connecticut Office of Tourism is encouraging all tourism businesses to:

  • Self-certify at https://business.ct.gov/recovery that you are complying with Connecticut’s COVID-19 prevention guidelines for your type of business; then post the COVID-19 prevention badge/poster at your property and/or on your website.
  • Update your website and social media channels as well as your free listing on CTvisit.com with any updated hours of operations or other information.
  • Go to the CTvisit.com tourism industry portal (partner.CTvisit.com) to share any new images/videos of your offerings with the Office of Tourism — particularly ones that show the changes you’ve made to enhance visitors’ safety as well as their experience.

“Connecticut’s tourism businesses all across the state are working so hard and so creatively to provide a safe environment and a great experience for guests,” said Randy Fiveash, director, COT. “It’s our job to help them effectively and cost efficiently spread the word that Connecticut is open for business — and drive more visitors back through their doors.”

Since Governor Lamont’s Stay Safe, Stay Home order in late-March, the Connecticut Office of Tourism has supported the industry with marketing designed to promote available tourism-related offerings — including outdoor activities, virtual experiences and restaurants offering takeout and delivery.

The Connecticut Office of Tourism’s new reopening campaign will seek to inspire visits during the summer as well as into the fall.

“Not only is promoting Connecticut’s tourism businesses good for the economic recovery of the state, it’s good for the well-being of our residents and visitors to get out and enjoy the tremendous quality of life Connecticut offers,” said Fiveash.

About the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development

The Department of Economic and Community Development is the state's lead agency responsible for strengthening Connecticut’s competitive position in the rapidly changing, knowledge-based global economy. The agency takes a comprehensive approach to economic development that incorporates community development, transportation, education, and arts and culture. For more information, visit www.portal.ct.gov/DECD.

About the Connecticut Office of Tourism

The Connecticut Office of Tourism, a division of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, is dedicated to enhancing the economic growth of Connecticut’s tourism industry. Together with its many state and industry partners, the Office of Tourism works to bolster the state’s reputation as a destination that offers a diverse mix of activities and attractions, all in close proximity to each other—from the exciting and relaxing to the historic and innovative to the culture and nature-focused. For more information, visit www.CTvisit.com.

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Contacts:

 

Emily Pangakis

Adams & Knight

860-676-2300 x 129

emily.pangakis@adamsknight.com

 

Randy Fiveash

Director, Connecticut Office of Tourism

randall.fiveash@ct.gov