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Builds on Success of Marketing Efforts and Introduces New Directions

HARTFORD - April 11, 2002 - The Connecticut Office of Tourism will launch its latest marketing campaign this week in New York. The new campaign builds on the success of the Office of Tourism's marketing efforts over the past eight years and introduces select new strategies and initiatives based on consumer market research and campaign tracking results. Campaign elements emphasize multi-day getaways for families and couples and are part of an integrated marketing campaign designed to entice visitors in the Greater New York area to visit Connecticut for a short getaway.

First Lady and Honorary Chairperson of the Connecticut Tourism Council Patricia L. Rowland said, "The 2002 campaign focuses on communicating getaway experiences to promote ready-to-use vacation package ideas and themed tours. Although timed to take advantage of the summer travel season, we are actively promoting Connecticut tourism year-round through a comprehensive marketing campaign that emphasizes getaways and demonstrates the variety of vacation experiences available in Connecticut."

Enhanced Efforts Take Advantage of Exploding Internet Opportunities

New to the campaign this year is the way the Office of Tourism's web site is being used as a marketing platform. The site, www.ctbound.org, has been redesigned to build relationships with the travel consumer to encourage repeat hits and to drive inquiries and visitation to the state. According to results of the Office of Tourism's 9th Annual Inquirer Conversion Study conducted by Witan Intelligence Strategies during 2001, 44% of visitors to Connecticut indicated that they had visited www.ctbound.org during their inquiry process. This is three times the year 2000 rate.

Highlights of the new site include a simplified new look with powerful graphics, a highlights box on the home page featuring key attractions and events, and a prominent positioning of the Office of Tourism's 52 getaways. These features are designed to appeal to the consumer who can utilize the website to create a custom itinerary, find special packages and discounts, search by interest, area or keyword, and sign up for an e-newsletter.

Campaign Emphasizes Connecticut's Convenient Location
and Attraction as a Short-Getaway Destination

The campaign reinforces the Office of Tourism's core strategic goals and, as in previous years, focuses on the leisure traveler, targeting adults with an emphasis on reaching baby boomer women. A key goal of this year's campaign is to leverage Connecticut's attraction as a convenient drive. The state's geographic location, situated between the major metropolitan markets of Boston and New York, makes Connecticut an attractive short-getaway and easy drive destination for families and couples.

The campaign promotes the ease and practicality of short vacations and features the 52 great getaway ideas found on the official Connecticut Office of Tourism website, www.ctbound.org.

Highlights of the campaign include print advertising in national travel, women's service and general interest publications. Magazine advertising features two ads: a family-focused "Fish You Were Here" getaway No. 21 shows the many attractions of the Mystic region, and an ad targeting couples titled "Shellfish Pleasures" getaway No. 14 demonstrates the many shoreline sights and attractions of the Connecticut coast. National magazine advertising begins in March and runs through June 2002 in publications such as: "Family Circle", "Travel & Leisure", "Better Homes and Gardens" and "New York Magazine". A sixteen page free standing insert (FSI), featuring tourism industry partners and getaway ideas will be distributed to 1.3 million households in New York, Philadelphia and Connecticut newspapers such as: "Bergen County Record", "New York News Day", "New York Times", "Newark Star Ledger", "Hartford Courant" and "New Haven Register", among others.

Two new thirty-second television spots will air in the greater New York market for eight weeks during June and July. The television spots feature two getaway ideas showing an active family getaway in the greater Hartford region and a getaway for couples highlighting the variety of activities along the Connecticut shoreline.

Television commercials in Connecticut will run during May. The popular spots that aired last year will again play to Connecticut audiences this spring, and feature the Governor and First Lady urging Connecticut residents with visiting friends and family to explore the many surprises our state has to offer.

The integrated marketing campaign is a comprehensive program that includes advertising, public relations, direct mail, collateral materials, direct sales, hospitality service, fulfillment tactics and Internet vehicles. The Connecticut Office of Tourism campaign contains several marketing programs that offer partnering opportunities to tourism industry partners. The radio coop, free- standing insert and vacation guide are vehicles that allow partners to penetrate the New York market at a reasonable cost. The Office of Tourism is leveraging the marketing muscle of American Express in a joint venture that will results in a special advertorial in "New York" magazine in April. In addition 1 million American Express card members in our target market will receive statement stuffers giving them incentives to travel to our state.

The Connecticut Office of Tourism's marketing strategy is directed by the Department of Economic & Community Development, Office of Tourism, with oversight by the Connecticut Tourism Council, whose members are appointed to represent industry interests. The marketing campaign is developed in conjunction with New Haven-based McLaughlin, DelVecchio & Casey, Inc. (marketing, advertising and in-state public relations) and New York-based Lou Hammond and Associates (national public relations).

The campaign's primary objective is to increase tourism revenue to further encourage growth of the tourism cluster, one of the emerging industry clusters in Connecticut identified by the state that is driving job growth and economic development. Tourism is a major economic driver for Connecticut with 1999 revenues conservatively estimated in excess of $5 billion; 4% of Connecticut's gross state product (GSP). Tourism employs 89,470 residents statewide, providing jobs for 4.3% of the state's workforce. The Connecticut Office of Tourism's $6.2 million dollar "Full of Surprises" campaign for 2001 generated $254 million in direct tourism spending from the New York area target market realizing a $41 return for every dollar spent.

Residents and prospective visitors to Connecticut can receive a free 2002 Vacation Guide and calendar of events by calling the 1-800-CTBOUND Tourism Information Hotline (1-800-282-6863) or logging on to www.ctbound.org.

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Casual but Classic

  1. Discover the less-traveled antique district in Bantam, along Rte. 202. There you will find collections including furniture, silver, paintings jewelry, pottery, clothing and much much more. When you've worked up an appetite, stop at any one or the town's bistros for some culinary delights.
  2. A vineyard visit in Litchfield Hills is a must. Stop by Hopkins Vineyard, New Preston. Take some time to enjoy the scenic drive around Lake Waramaug then do a little shopping at the Ellen Bottell Stoeckel estate, Rtes. 44 & 272, Norfolk.
  3. Don't forget to buy a...

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