Industry News – Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism Announces Marketing Plan for 2005 and 2006

CONTACTS: Jennifer Aniskovich
Executive Director
Connecticut Commission
on Culture & Tourism
(860) 256-2800 Joanne Morrison
Director of Public Relations
McLaughlin DelVecchio & Casey
(203) 624-4151 x 30

Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism Announces Marketing Plan for 2005 and 2006

HARTFORD, Conn. (May 23, 2005) – The Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism announces its 2005 – 2006 strategic marketing plan that will serve as the basis for the state’s new advertising campaign, unveiled at a press conference at the Capitol today. The plan will be used as a marketing roadmap for promoting Connecticut to visitors for the upcoming tourist season.

The strategies that resulted from this recent process are instrumental in shaping the direction of the Commission’s marketing approach for the next two years, said Jennifer Aniskovich, Executive Director of the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism. Collaborating with the state’s five tourism regions in creating an integrated, more focused and smarter campaign will leverage our ability to vie for the attention of visitors in a fiercely competitive environment.

The strategic planning process was under the direction of a Strategic Marketing Planning Committee that included staff members from the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism, the tourism regions, regional marketing organizations and convention and visitors bureaus. The marketing strategy is the result of a five-month planning process that involved in-depth research into travel attitudes and behavior together with the analysis of existing data on Connecticut visitors. During this planning process, all previous assumptions and strategies were re-examined, given the challenges facing Connecticut tourism in the next two years.

Challenges for Tourism
Tourism is fast becoming a major growth industry for the state of Connecticut, with an economic impact far larger and more pervasive than many citizens and businesses might realize. Industry data and previous successes support this position. For example:

  • Tourists spent nearly $10 billion in Connecticut in 2001
  • Travel and tourism in Connecticut generated:
    • $2.3 billion in state and local revenue in 2001
    • 146,178 jobs in Connecticut in 2001

Assuring this continued growth of tourism in Connecticut is a major challenge identified in the plan. Since 2003, funding for statewide tourism marketing in Connecticut has dropped 33%. Coupled with reduced funds supporting the Regional Tourism District’s marketing efforts, the state’s investment in Connecticut’s Tourism industry decreased $6.5 million. Tourism no longer has a dedicated source of funding-either at the state or regional level. These economic realities have played a major role in shaping the strategies and tactics listed below and outlined in the state’s marketing plan.

Brand Identity Strategy
The plan clearly positions Connecticut as the only destination that offers all the traditional qualities of New England plus the vibrant, contemporary entertainment and cultural experiences that make a trip interesting and fun – all within a couple of hours’ drive. A getaway to Connecticut promises quick relief from the humdrum of daily life where you can just breathe. The core creative strategy emphasizes the emotional benefits of the Connecticut getaway experience with a chance to escape, relax, and return home refreshed and reinvigorated.

What’s New
The 2005/2006 marketing plan features a number of new strategies, including:

  • A new level of collaboration between the Commission and tourism regions to maximize the state’s overall marketing dollars.
  • A clearer definition of Connecticut’s brand identity strategy for travel and tourism (New England PLUS)
  • A tighter focus on Connecticut’s primary target audience (women 35-54 who primarily travel without children).
  • A more singular state media strategy (television, newspaper inserts, online).
  • A tighter focus on spring-summer seasons.
  • An increased emphasis on promoting cultural attractions and activities within Connecticut.

What Stays the Same
At the same time, certain proven strategies from previous plans remain in place.

  • A continued commitment to influencing the greatest number of potential visitors possible (versus settling for a fractional niche approach).
  • A continued focus on Metro New York as the market with the greatest visitor potential.
  • A continued reliance on television as the most effective medium for delivering the state’s message.
  • A continued reliance on online marketing to inform consumers about Connecticut.
  • A continued reliance on public relations to enhance Connecticut’s media exposure.

The Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism brings together tourism, film, history and the arts. Its mission is to preserve and promote Connecticut’s cultural and tourism assets in order to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of the state. The Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism is located at One Financial Plaza, 755 Main Street, Hartford, Connecticut, 06103.

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