Gov. Malloy: Tourism Industry Contributes $14 Billion to Connecticut's Economy, Adding 5,000 Jobs in Recent Years
(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced the results of an economic impact study of the tourism industry in Connecticut, showing that the sector of the state's economy generated $14 billion in total sales in 2013 - a three-percent increase from the prior year. The study also shows that tourism supports more than 118,000 jobs statewide - including 80,000 direct jobs - representing 5.3 percent of all employment in the state. Approximately 5,000 new jobs have been created in the industry since the end of the recession.
"From incredible parks and green space, to great beaches and attractions, Connecticut's economy benefits significantly from tourism," Governor Malloy said. "Our smart decisions and significant commitments are yielding great results, with strong job and economic growth. Connecticut is an incredible place to live and visit - and we're working hard today so that our state has an even brighter future tomorrow."
The economic impact study was conducted by Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company and leading research firm. It was commissioned by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and in partnership with its Office of Tourism.
In addition to the direct economic impact generated by attractions, hotels, restaurants and other destinations, visitor spending benefits the entire state with $1.6 billion in tax revenue, including $513.4 million in state taxes and $344.6 million in local taxes. According to the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services, lodging occupancy tax generated $105 million, a $3-million increase from 2012.
"Tourism is a critical component of Connecticut's economy and a major contributor to the growth in jobs we've seen during Governor Malloy's administration," DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith said. "With the Connecticut still revolutionary campaign, we've showcased thousands of our tourism venues through our advertising, public relations and social media efforts, and it's clear that visitors are responding. We're proud our tourism partners directly employ 80,000 Connecticut residents within our state."
"Under Governor Malloy's leadership, Connecticut's tourism industry is helping to grow and diversify the state's economy, with nearly 5,000 new jobs created," DECD Deputy Commissioner Tim Sullivan said. "Tourism is an export industry, and we are proud to be partnering with the state's attractions, hotels, restaurants and other tourist destinations to bring more and more visitors and spending from beyond our borders to Connecticut."
Since Connecticut's still revolutionary marketing efforts launched in 2012, awareness of Connecticut's attractions and destinations has continued to grow. Of the survey respondents who have seen the state's advertising campaign, the number of people who say Connecticut has "lots of things to see and do" has doubled, and the number of people who perceive Connecticut as "a great place to spend time with children" and "rest and relax" has increased by more than 50 percent as well.
The next iteration of the Connecticut still revolutionary campaign kicks off in late April and will continue to highlight the state's broad range of activities, targeting residents within Connecticut, as well as surrounding major cities including Boston, New York and Philadelphia, to visit the state.
Larry McHugh, president of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, said, "Showcasing authentic tourism industry partners in the state's marketing efforts has helped to improve many businesses in Middlesex County. Our owners and entrepreneurs are proud to operate their business in our region and in our state."
"The state's tourism marketing campaign continues to be successful in attracting more people to visit every county in Connecticut and growing our economy," Director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism Randy Fiveash said. "To provide a sense of scale, one of nearly 20 jobs in Connecticut is supported by visitor spending."
Visitors from coast-to-coast also continue to engage via Connecticut's social media channels, which now boast a community of nearly 240,000 across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube. The state's official tourism website, CTvisit.com, provided travel advice to three million visitors during 2014 - more than double since 2012. Additionally, the state's tourism e-newsletter reaches more than 350,000 subscribers monthly and features news about Connecticut getaways, deals, activities and events statewide.
**Download: Economic Impact of Travel in Connecticut, 2013