The state has launched a new tourism campaign entitled 'Say Yes To CT' to get people excited about what Connecticut has to offer.
The slogan was created by state and tourism leaders to offer a little bit of hope ahead of the summer season. The $1.2 million initiative comes after the industry took a hit in 2020. However, tourism leaders believe a rebound is near as vaccinations increase and residents along with out-of-state visitors feel comfortable traveling and taking in some of the sights.
"It is intended to spur that economy for spring-summer and to really get people out enjoying all of our great spaces," said Christine Castonguay, the interim director for C.T.'s Office of Tourism. "We've really had to say no so much this last year that we are refreshed and rejoiced to be able to say, yes!"
The New Britain Museum of American Art is one of the attractions starting to see more people like Lisa Leonard from Woodbury.
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"We're real museum enthusiasts," said Leonard. "There is a lot to offer and the state parks are also beautiful."
The tourism industry has a wide net of benefits inside the state including helping restaurants like the Gelston House in East Haddam.
"It's a big help and we've been suffering especially the restaurant industry for the last year and a half," said Iso Dedushaj, the owner, Gelston House. "People come from everywhere especially in the summer and I really do a lot of business with tourism.
Residents tell NBC Connecticut they're eager to get out to enjoy the state.
"There's so many state parks, hiking, and water things and I love it," said Rachel Martin from Middletown.
Rory Gale tries her best to get out and see the state with her daughter and friends.
"It is a small state that has a big heart," said Gale. "You can be in a city, in the country, or by the beach within 45 minutes."
The centerpiece of the campaign is to pump money back into the local economy.
"It drives 2.2 billion dollars in tax revenue and as you can imagine, this industry was incredibly hit hard over the last year," said Castonguay. "CT is special because we're able to offer people the opportunity to get away and do so much with little travel."
The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme tells NBC Connecticut the campaign is beneficial and anticipates seeing more visitors through the summer.
"Tourism especially in the summer months is so wonderful for the museum because we can welcome visitors from all over," said Tammi Flynn, Director of Marketing for the Florence Griswold Museum.
Now the hope is as vaccination rates increase so will the number of people stopping by some of the sites.
For more information about the 'Say Yes To CT' campaign, click here.