Less than a week after he told reporters he would reunite Connecticut with the rest of New England, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Wednesday that the state had found $100,000 to place it back on the region’s official tourism site aimed at international travelers.
Discover New England removed Connecticut from its tourism site when the state failed to pay its dues after former Gov. M. Jodi Rell cut the state’s tourism marketing budget to $1. Last week Malloy expressed confidence that the state would find the funds to rejoin the other New England states at some point before July. On Wednesday he said he directed that funds within existing resources be used to pay the dues early.
“I’m pleased that we could release this money – which had already been allocated to the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism – so quickly and get the state back on the map with its New England neighbors,” Malloy said in a prepared statement. “Connecticut has so much to offer, and it’s a shame more people don’t know about it. Connecticut’s exclusion from overseas marketing materials and efforts – and with it, information about the state’s cultural venues, tourist attractions and other events – was embarrassing, and spoke to a larger lack of understanding about the decisions we need to make to invest in our state and our region. As I’ve said before, my overarching goal is to ensure people know Connecticut is open for business. With our inclusion once again in Discover New England, we’re sending that message loud and clear.”
Following an address to the Connecticut Council of Small Towns, Malloy remarked that the site’s next map should be more in line with the geography he learned in grammar school.
“It’s a down payment on a longer term commitment to advertising our state,” he told reporters. “We’re going to be on the next map of New England.”