The theme of this year’s Connecticut Conference on Tourism is “The State of Tourism” which those attending the conference say is pretty good.
“Tourism contributes $15.5 billion in total business sales,” a video stated.
But the tourism professionals said the state of tourism could be better with more investment from the state.
She does not want to see an increase in the state’s hotel tax, which was proposed by the governor.
“Currently, we have the highest hotel tax in the country at 15 percent,” said Koslowsky. “We generate about $30 million for the state of Connecticut, so we would like to see more money directed to statewide marketing.”
That marketing is going high tech with new digital billboards which advertise attractions according to the weather. There’s also a campaign change. It will no longer include the “Still Revolutionary” tagline after the state’s name.
“We believe that a little more investment would yield much more revenue for the state,” said Steve White, President of Mystic Seaport. “So, that’s what I was waiting to hear and I’m still waiting.”
“We know it can help everybody,” said Pieter Ross, Executive Director of The Mark Twain House & Museum.
“We’ve got a little more in the budget for tourism as opposed to going the other direction and I’m going to be a champion for tourism,” Governor Ned Lamont told reporters before speaking at the conference.
Related Content: Tourism study: CT business is up more than 5 percent since 2015
“I think that it’s great talking about the welcoming centers opening,” said Roz Guilhuly with Mystic Aquarium. “That’s been a sticking point for us for a long time.”
The governor is also suggesting Shoreline East train service be expanded to end in Mystic instead of New London. He has proposed statewide tolls to pay for transportation improvements.
The governor also had an idea about the Woodstock 50th anniversary concert cancelled in upstate New York.
“You know where we’re going to do it? We’re going to do it in Woodstock, Connecticut,” the governor told the group at the conference. “We can get… Yeah and that could be fun.”
The bottom line for the tourism professionals is they want to see the state invest more in tourism and marketing, and the governor said he is committed to do so. But he may be looking at raising taxes or implementing tolls to make it happen.
Free download: Access Connecticut breaking news, weather, stream live newscasts and more on-the-go with News 8 alerts directly to your phone