Don’t emphasize new changes.
DonÂ’t tout efforts to attract businesses.
And definitely, for anyone trying to promote the state of Connecticut to tourists, donÂ’t describe its residents as smart.
Â“Intellectually enriching,Â” maybe. But not Â“smart.Â”
Those and other findings were uncovered through a marketing study commissioned by the state to learn how best to create a Connecticut brand that will attract throngs of tourists. To help Â“sellÂ” the state to potential visitors, the stateÂ’s Department of Economic & Community Development engaged a team consisting of New York marketing firms Chowder Inc., and Fleishman-Hillard, Media Storm of South Norwalk, as well as WaterburyÂ’s Harrison Group.
In addition to assembling out-of-state focus groups and conducting and analyzing research, the marketers have been charged with helping to create effective advertising, developing media strategies, keeping abreast of exploitable goings-on and trends in the state, engaging consumers through social media and other communications channels, producing newsletters, and conducting information sessions with stakeholders.
Over the next two years the marketers will work with a $27 million budget to convince vacationers that Connecticut is the place to be in the summer, and during the rest of the year as well, for any discretionary excursions they plan on taking. Providing the funds are a priority for Gov. Dannel P. MalloyÂ’s administration, which recognizes tourism as a crucial element in the stateÂ’s economic recovery. Malloy also made sure Connecticut came up with $100,000 in dues to renew its lapsed membership in the multi-state tourism marketing collaborative Discover New England, which particularly tries to attract visitors from the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany.
ItÂ’s a far cry from the $1 budgeted for tourism during the tenure of former governor M. buy xanax online no prescription Rell.
Â“That was scandalous. The dollar was an insult,Â” says Christopher Barstein, general manager of WaterÂ’s Edge Resort & Spa in Westbrook. What Rell failed to realize, says Barstein, is that Â“The money the state spends on tourism is just an investment.Â”
The current governor agrees. In a press release from MalloyÂ’s office that cites 2011 statistics, Connecticut tourism is said to generate $11.5 billion in visit us spending and $1.15 billion in state and local revenue order xanax taxes.
Among findings in the stateÂ’s 2012 Â“Connecticut Tourism: WhatÂ’s NewÂ” research report is that focus groups saw Connecticut as a drive-through state rather than a vacation destination. Many of the respondents Â— a total of ten groups based in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas Â— were unfamiliar with ConnecticutÂ’s rich cultural, recreational and historic attractions. Some respondents even had a negative view of Connecticut, describing it as lacking both urban attractions and beaches, non-stimulating, Â“horrificÂ” in terms of roads and traffic, expensive, catering only to the affluent and generally unappealing.
Taking that buy valium online the report suggested conceptual minefields to avoid when seeking to attract tourists. Calling Connecticut residents Â“smartÂ” or the Â“best educated,Â” for example, might be construed as an insult to non-residents. According to the study, concepts and images that would be more tourist-friendly include the stateÂ’s beaches and other leisure destinations, its gaming industry, family-oriented attractions such as Mystic Aquarium, scenic streams and lakes, and theaters, museums and other artistic and cultural activities.
Focus-group responses, along with thoughts from Connecticut residents about their favorite aspects of the state, helped shape the marketing campaign designed to draw in tourists. The theme of that campaign, unveiled last month, is: Â“Connecticut: Still Revolutionary.Â” The point is to inspire and invoke the stateÂ’s rallying spirit, according to a press release from the governorÂ’s office.
Â“I kind of liked it. ItÂ’s catchy,Â” says Barstein, adding that the slogan piques the interest of those unfamiliar with the state. Â“Any time youÂ’re doing branding like that, where the phrase is not obvious, it makes people think.Â”
And, he and others hope, want to come to Connecticut to find out more.
|< Prev||Next >|