Gov. Ned Lamont announced Thursday a $3 million campaign to increase tourism to Connecticut after it declined during the pandemic.
The “Find Your Vibe” campaign will run over the summer. Lamont said the ad should reach a widespread audience. The campaign will also include in-flight commercials, digital billboards in New York’s Penn Station and more.
Lamont said the campaign is good news for businesses and the economy.
The census reported that at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Connecticut had one of the greatest declines, 36.4%, in travel, tourism and outdoor recreation employment in the United States. Tourism income in the state decreased by nearly 10%.
“Connecticut is an exciting place to be that offers all kinds of experiences, and the ‘Find Your Vibe’ campaign captures that in a way we haven’t seen, heard, or felt before,” Lamont said.
Paul Mayer, president of the CT Tourism Coalition, said the campaign should deliver strong results.
“I think that the campaign is going to reach a much larger geography than ever with an integrated array of tactics running from the local and regional audiences to national and international audiences,” Mayer said.
Mayer said he is “very optimistic for a great tourism season as we rebound from COVID.”
“You can do everything that people come to New England for right here in Connecticut, without having to travel to some of the further distances, especially for our target markets in New York and so forth,” Mayer said.
Connecticut has a lot of assets to attract tourists, Mayer said.
“We take a lot of things for granted: the people that live here, we have so much in arts and culture, outdoor adventure,” he said. “During the pandemic, I think there was a greater awareness of outdoor adventure because people were looking for things to do outdoors. We have a wide range of live music and entertainment, world-class dining and great hotels.”
Chris DiPentima, CEO and president of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, said when people are aware of Connecticut’s tourism opportunities, they spend money on local businesses.
“I’ve seen a good return on investment when we invest in making people aware of all the different tourism opportunities that Connecticut has,” DiPentima said.
Noelle Stevenson, director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism, said she is excited about the results from the campaign and updated CT Visit website.
“The campaign and website showcase Connecticut’s tourism assets from a vibrant, edgier and inclusive angle, reflecting our various lifestyles and communities, attractions to adrenaline-pumping activities, unique places to stay to culinary experiences, cultural hotspots to LGBTQ+ celebrations, multicultural festivals to gaming, and so much more,” Stevenson said.