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Study: Tourism Contributes $15.5 Billion to Connecticut Economy, Supports Seven Consecutive Years of Job Growth

HARTFORD, Conn., (May 6, 2019) – Connecticut’s tourism industry continues to be a proven generator of business sales, tax revenues and statewide jobs. In one of the strongest years in the past decade, tourism posted $15.5 billion in total business sales in 2017—a 5.5% increase over 2015. This finding and others are outlined in an economic impact study announced today by the Connecticut Office of Tourism.

Key findings from the biennial study, which analyzed 2017 calendar year data, include:

  • SALES: $15.5 billion in business sales supported by traveler spending—up 5.5% since 2015
  • TAXES: $2.2 billion in tax revenues, including $960 million in state/local taxes
  • JOBS: 84,254 jobs directly supported by tourism (total of 123,500 both direct/indirect jobs)—reflecting seven consecutive years of increasing tourism employment and making tourism the 8th largest employment sector in the state
  • SPENDING: Visitors drove a 3.6% increase in tourism spending on recreation, food and beverage, lodging, retail and local/air transportation, the strongest rate of increase since 2011

The full report, conducted by Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company and leading research firm, is available for download: Economic Impact of Tourism in Connecticut, 2017

“The tourism industry is a major economic driver for Connecticut, generating sales that benefit many different industries in all corners of the state and driving tax revenues that fund various statewide needs,” said David Kooris, deputy commissioner, Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.

Earlier this year, the Connecticut Office of Tourism published its 2018 Tourism Marketing Review which showed that key targets exposed to the state’s digital tourism advertising visited Connecticut 6 times more—and stayed 3.5 times longer—than those who were not exposed.

Central to the state’s marketing efforts is The website received an historic 5.4 million visits in 2018 and drove over 3 million referrals (calls, clicks, emails) to tourism destinations. Other tactics, including search engine optimization, social media and content marketing, drove record results.

“Our statewide tourism marketing is working, but we’re always looking for new ways to work with our partners to improve and build longer-term awareness of Connecticut as a place to visit,” said Randy Fiveash, director, Connecticut Office of Tourism. “We welcome input from stakeholders across the state as we identify ways to better share with potential visitors the places and events that we know make Connecticut so great.”

About the Connecticut Office of Tourism

The Connecticut Office of Tourism, a division of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), 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



Emily Pangakis

Adams & Knight

860-676-2300 x 129


Randy Fiveash

Director, Connecticut Office of Tourism