With visitors arriving from bordering states and locals eager to take advantage of all that Connecticut has to offer, the state is seizing the moment to invest in tourism. The funding restored to the three regional districts — Eastern, Central and Western — will be spent marketing tourism-related businesses and guiding travelers to destinations within the areas.

The Western Connecticut Tourism District, which includes Easton, and 62 other towns and cities in the region, is asking local businesses to register with the district in order to be included in the district’s marketing strategy. Any tourism-related business or attraction should complete the “Tell us about your venue or attraction” Google form and send to the region administrator, Terry Macary at administrator@visitwesternconnecticut.com.

Easton’s tourism representative is Michelle Falcone, founder of Celebrate Connecticut, offering custom excursion celebrations. Falcone may be reached at michfalcone@optonline.net.

The next board meeting will take place on Wednesday, July 15 at 10 a.m. Anyone is welcome to attend meetings. To become a board member, with voting rights, a person must be appointed by local council.

The board encourages constituents to reach out to local representatives for help with promoting a tourism business or to share expertise and ideas.

Local businesses are encouraged to update the State Department of Tourism with a new business or events happening to receive visibility on the state of Connecticut’s tourism website, CTvisit.

The tourism industry in Connecticut generates 170,000 jobs and $1.7 billion in state and local revenue. Recognizing this significant economic impact, the state has re-committed support for the three districts established under Section 10-397 of the Connecticut General Statutes, granting money to each district to spend on promoting tourism.

The statute, which divides the state into the Eastern, Central and Western regions, determines which towns are assigned to each. Each town appoints a representative to ensure that the towns and cities are promoted fairly. In addition, the board appoints up to 21 industry leaders to share in this effort. Full representation on the board is the only way to address community and economic development needs impartially.

While most of the 63 towns in the region have representation, the board continues to seek motivated partners, willing to be hands-on in helping to promote and market tourism in the region. The Board of Directors meets four times each year on the third Wednesday of a given month at 10:00 a.m. and usually adjourns before 12 noon.

The 63 towns represented by the Western Connecticut Tourism District (WCTD) consist of the following municipalities: Ansonia, Barkhamsted, Beacon Falls, Bethel, Bethlehem, Bridgeport, Bridgewater, Bristol, Brookfield, Burlington, Canaan, Colebrook, Cornwall, Danbury, Darien, Derby, Easton, Fairfield, Goshen, Greenwich, Hartland, Harwinton, Kent, Litchfield, Middlebury, Monroe, Morris, Naugatuck, New Canaan, Norwalk, New Fairfield, New Hartford, New Milford, Newtown, Norfolk, North Canaan, Oxford, Plymouth, Prospect, Redding, Ridgefield, Roxbury, Salisbury, Seymour, Shelton, Sharon, Sherman, Southbury, Stamford, Stratford, Thomaston, Torrington, Trumbull, Warren, Washington, Waterbury, Watertown, Weston, Westport, Wilton, Winchester, Wolcott and Woodbury.

For more information on tourism related activities in the Western Region of Connecticut, check out the region’s new facebook page: www.facebook.com/visitwesternct or ctvisit.com.

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