New State Tourism Panel Aims To Encourage Growth

October 16, 2018

(Left to Right) Larry McHugh, President, Middlesex Chamber of Commerce, Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz, Jeff Muthersbaugh, President, CT Lodging Association and Owner of Nehamiah Brainerd House B&B.

Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz (D- Berlin/Southington) views Connecticut’s tourism industry as an important sector of the state’s economy, and announced today the formation of a new panel to focus on ways to encourage further growth.

The Speaker’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Tourism will hold meetings and hearings throughout the state in the coming months to listen and seek input from the public, businesses, and institutions. The Panel will then make recommendations to the legislature that can help ensure an economically strong tourism industry in Connecticut.

“Tourism should not be simply viewed as a cost but as an investment in our economy that creates jobs and can help pay for many of the programs and services vital to our residents,” Aresimowicz said during an announcement at the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce. “The sector is strong, but there are legitimate concerns within the industry that the state has backed off a bit in its support and that we need to recommit to our investment in tourism and attracting visitors to our beautiful state.”

Tourism in Connecticut is a $14.7 billion industry, directly supporting almost 83,000 jobs, and producing $1.7 billion in total tax revenue according to the state Department of Economic and Community Development.

“I want to thank the speaker for putting this initiative together,” said Middlesex Chamber of Commerce President Larry McHugh. “We are very proud to be part of this proactive group to help support and grow the strong tourism industry in Connecticut which is one of the key economic drivers in our great state.”