Rolling out statistics to make his case, Governor Dannel Malloy made his pitch to boost marketing and advertising for tourism in the state.
“It’s pretty good stuff and that’s why I’ve asked for more money in the budget to promote the state of Connecticut, specifically tourism," Malloy said during an event at Mystic Seaport.
The "pretty good stuff," Malloy referred to is increased revenue, job growth, and overall performance related to tourism.
Job growth has been on the upward trend since 2011, with the industry now supporting more than 82,600 jobs statewide. The Department of Economic and Community Development also reported that overall traveler spending is up in Connecticut by more than three percent, and the industry as a whole generates $1.7 billion in annual revenue.
With all those figures at hand, Malloy said he wouldn't rule out trying to find a way to devote taxpayer funds to tourism every year.
“The problem is we haven’t had a lot of support for tourism, and we had almost none before I became governor for a period of time, but a dedicated funding source would not be something I would be against.”
The governor may have trouble finding support for more money for tourism marketing because of the state's budget crisis. With a total deficit of more than $3 billion projected over the next two years, it may be difficult for the governor to secure such funds while other state agencies face steep cuts.