The fortunes of the Connecticut Office of Tourism have turned around since 2009, when then-governor Jodi Rell infamously cut state funding for tourism marketing to just one dollar. Last year the state invested $15 million to promote the state's tourism industry.
The result was the Connecticut "Still Revolutionary" campaign and according to Randy Fiveash, Director of the Connectict Office of Tourism, "Still Revolutionary" has been a huge success.
"Just that one first part of the campaign, the Spring and Summer Campaign, generated an individual $161 million in new spending by visitors. We had an 18 percent increase in awareness of Connecticut as a place to visit, so it's really working," said Fiveash.
But state tourism may have to work with less in the upcoming state budget. While Governor Malloy wants to keep funding at $15 million, the state legislature wants to cut that back to $9.5 million. Fiveash says the cut would adversely effect the industry and take away jobs.
Fiveash says Tuesday's conference was an excellent chance to show state lawmakers first hand the importance of the tourism industry to Connecticut's bottom line. The General Assembly has until June 5th to hammer out the new two year budget during the regular session.