Connecticut Office of Tourism
Unveils 2003-2004 Strategic Plan
Includes new initiatives to
draw tourists to state
HARTFORD, CONN. - November 12, 2002 - The
2003-2004 strategic marketing plan was approved today at the Connecticut Tourism
Council meeting in Rocky Hill and released by the Connecticut Office of Tourism,
a division of the Department of Economic and Community Development. The plan
outlines six new initiatives designed to increase awareness of Connecticut as a
vacation destination and to increase visitation to the state.
New strategic initiatives for 2003-2004 include:
- Greater emphasis on attracting first-time
Connecticut Office of Tourism research indicates that leisure travelers to
Connecticut are repeat visitors. Two out of three leisure visitors to
Connecticut in 2001 had visited the state within the previous twelve months.
This new initiative is intended to stimulate an increase in first-time trips
in order to benefit from the trend for repeat visits.
- Greater use of on-line marketing
According to the Travel Industry of America, the majority of American
leisure travelers use the Internet to plan a vacation. Of the visitors who
sought information before coming to Connecticut last year, 50% used the
- Increased role in marketing to meeting and
With current and planned increased meeting and convention capacity,
Connecticut is in a position to capture a bigger share of this segment of
the business travel market.
- Greater use of point-of-visitation
Connecticut has many attractions that draw out-of-state visitors. Repeat and
longer visits can be stimulated by displaying promotional materials in
places frequented by large numbers of travelers.
- Increased promotion of value opportunities
Consumers are more value-conscious today than they have been since the early
1990s, and travelers are looking for ways to stretch their travel dollar (Accenture
- Assessment of leisure travel potential of
the greater Boston market
The greater Boston area is the second largest source of leisure visitors to
Connecticut. Since 1995 there has been a 47% growth in trips from the Boston
"Leisure travel to Connecticut has
increased by over half a million trips, up more than 10% over the past five
years, compared to a 2% growth in national travel volume over the same
period," explained Ed Dombroskas, executive director for the Connecticut
Office of Tourism. "Our goals are to continue to leverage this market to
build repeat visits on the leisure side; and given the new product coming into
the market in the next few years, we intend to increase the visibility of the
state as a destination for meetings and conventions."
"This new strategic plan is driven by our
consumer research which tells us, among other things, who is coming to
Connecticut and why. These findings and valuable input from the tourism industry
influence our marketing direction for 2003," said Gregg Dancho, Connecticut
Tourism Council marketing committee chair, and executive director of the
The Connecticut Office of Tourism will continue
to build on successful core strategies: focusing on leisure travelers within
easy driving distance to the state; focusing on the drive market with the
greatest potential, the greater New York area; and focusing on the segment of
the population with the greatest propensity to visit Connecticut, baby boomers
with a special emphasis on travel decision-makers, women.
The strategic plan was prepared by the Office of
Tourism with the assistance of marketing and public relations firms McLaughlin,
DelVecchio & Casey, Inc. and Lou Hammond & Associates in conjunction
with The O'Neal Group.
Tourism is a significant economic driver for
Connecticut. The $5 billion industry, excluding gaming receipts, employs nearly
90,000 residents statewide and provides jobs for 4.3% of the state's workforce.
Tourism research publications are available from the Connecticut Office of
Tourism. Residents and prospective visitors to Connecticut can receive a free
2002 Vacation Guide, Calendar of Events and 52 Getaways Map by calling the
1-800-CTBOUND Tourism Information Hotline (1-800-282-6863) or logging on to www.ctbound.org.
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Note to Editors: Highlights of the strategic
marketing plan are available. Please contact Kathleen Goffa at 203-624-4151 x 30.