State Begins Tourism Ad Campaign

Jun 13, 2011

Governor Dannel Malloy is rolling out an ad campaign to boost tourism in Connecticut this summer.  As WNPR’s Jeff Cohen reports, Malloy says the more than $2 million dollar plan is just the beginning. The governor gathered with boosters and private donors at the Connecticut Science Center to highlight the new print and radio ads to be played across the state and into New York. Here's one: (Ad) Like slots more than seagulls?   (Ad) How about trains and an aquarium? (Ad) Malloy said he’s tired of seeing Connecticut sit it out while other areas start their summer advertising campaigns in the spring. "Connecticut has not played in that sandbox for a long time.  We’re about to reenter.” Former Governor Jodi Rell essentially defunded the state’s tourism marketing effort – which notably got the state wiped off at least one New England tourism map.     “We took it for granted.  And anytime you take it for granted, you lose.” Christopher Bergstrom runs the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.  He says the state has fallen behind its peers. Take, for instance, hotel bookings.  “Connecticut is under performing New England and a national average.  They’re also subject to the economy just like we are.” Malloy has pledged $15 million in his first budget to restart the promotional effort.  But that money doesn't come until next month, once the summer travel season is already underway. So with the help of $800,000 in money raised from private donors, the state is spending $1.6 million of its own dollars for this print and radio campaign. The ads target women 25 to 54-years who like to travel and have the money to do it. Radio spots start playing this week will remind listeners that Connecticut is, quote, "Closer Than You Think." For WNPR, I'm Jeff Cohen.