Connecticut’s tourism industry posted $15.5 billion in total business sales in 2017, a 5.5% increase over 2015, in the latest economic impact study by the Connecticut Office of Tourism.
Tax revenue from the sector for calendar year 2017 was $2.2 billion, including $960 million in state and local taxes. The office said that 84,254 jobs were directly supported by tourism – a number that topped 123,500 when including indirect jobs – reflecting a seventh consecutive year of increasing tourism employment, and making tourism the state’s eighth largest employment sector.
In addition, 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 research firm, can be found here.
“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 its www.CTvisit.com website, which received what the department called an “historic” 5.4 million visits in 2018 and drove over 3 million referrals (calls, clicks, emails) to tourism destinations.
State officials have increasingly been turning their attention to the tourist trade and are considering various ways to boost the sector.
“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 Connecticut Office of Tourism Director Randy Fiveash. “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.”
The state has also dropped its “Still Revolutionary” slogan, as expected; a new tagline is expected to be announced shortly.