(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the Connecticut Office of Tourism is launching a new summer marketing campaign to promote safe travel and fuel the Connecticut tourism industry’s recovery following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. After a year of saying “no” to so many things due to the pandemic, the State of Connecticut is encouraging resident and visitors to “Say Yes to Connecticut” and all of its unique experiences this summer.
The campaign theme, “Say Yes to Connecticut,” was born out of the Office of Tourism’s proprietary research that shows a growing sense of optimism among Northeast consumers amid the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and pent-up demand for travel, especially regional travel.
“Connecticut has an incredible mix of tourism offerings – from arts and cultural venues and restaurants, to lodging properties and outdoor recreation areas – all of which help generate business sales, tax revenues, and statewide jobs benefitting our communities,” Governor Lamont said. “The new campaign is a great reminder of that diversity and the growing optimism among travelers that we believe will put people back to work and translate into an industry-wide recovery for tourism beginning this summer.”
Running May 1 through September 6, the campaign will feature hundreds of businesses and activities across the state that make up Connecticut’s tourism industry sector, including hotels, inns and B&Bs, restaurants, attractions, museums, historical sites, arts and cultural venues, farms, wineries and breweries, state parks and beaches, nature centers, outdoor recreation, shopping destinations, events, and more. Mask wearing indoors will continue to be required.
“Many Northeast consumers are ready to get out and safely travel this summer, so we’re focused on making sure that Connecticut is top of mind,” Christine Castonguay, interim director of the Office of Tourism, said. “Not only does Connecticut have a huge variety of tourism experiences to ‘say yes’ to, but our location and size make them easily accessible so people can spend less time getting to their long-awaited daytrips and vacations, and more time enjoying them.”
The multi-media campaign utilizes an array of integrated marketing tactics, including:
- A new television campaign that will run in-state, as well as on streaming television in proximity states;
- Robust social media campaigns across Facebook and Instagram;
- New content on CTvisit.com, the state’s official tourism website (~7M visitors in 2019);
- Paid search marketing; and
- Earned media, including public relations and email marketing.
The $1.2 million campaign is funded through the Office of Tourism’s existing statewide tourism marketing budget. For comparison, last year the state launched a similarly sized tourism marketing campaign that received national recognition and garnered over 41.4 million TV/video views, 87 million social media impressions, and generated over 795,000 clicks to www.CTvisit.com. Post-campaign research revealed that those who saw the campaign showed a 90% increase in interest in visiting Connecticut in the next two years and a 122% increase in intent to visit in the next 12 months. According to GPS tracking, 10% of those who saw the digital videos or visited the website actually visited Connecticut tourism businesses within the campaign season.
The campaign launch coincides with the U.S. Travel Association’s National Travel & Tourism Week (May 2 – 8), which celebrates the value travel holds for the U.S. economy, businesses, and personal wellbeing. The Office of Tourism will be highlighting Connecticut’s tourism subsectors throughout the week on social media, as well as conducting outreach meetings with regional partners and businesses throughout the state.
To participate in the “Say Yes To Connecticut” campaign, use #SayYesCT on social media. For information on the numerous attractions Connecticut has to offer, visit www.CTvisit.com.