Tourism officials in Connecticut say they’re confident they can attract new visitors to the state, despite the recession and shrinking marketing budgets.
The state’s new campaign to promote Connecticut as a destination was unveiled at a conference on tourism held at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods this week. Once again Connecticut is targeting bordering states and those within driving distance, with the slogan 'the real fun is closer than you think'. Randy Fiveash, director of tourism says continuing trends can favor the state.
"People are traveling closer to home, they’re traveling in their own backyard. Fortunately for us, we’re strategically located – where our backyard is a big backyard. We’re the backyard of New York, we’re the backyard of Boston."
Marketing budgets look likely to be slashed in the ongoing state budget negotiations, but Commissioner on Culture and Tourism Karen Senich says it’s all about targeting.
"There’s never enough money, is the truth. However, because of our market research and our very careful decisions that we make, we’re able to use the money that we have as strategically as possible."
Industry experts at the conference say market research shows people are still intending to travel and take vacations despite the downturn, but most are looking for value package deals, and are cutting the number of nights they stay, and that’s what’s really affecting the bottom line for many attractions.