Connecticut Staycations: A Bird’s Eye Business View

This article is written by Michelle Falcone of Easton, new secretary on the Executive Committee for the Western Connecticut Tourism District. It is the first article in a three-part spring day- trip series. The series provides a behind-the-scenes look on how local tourism is not only surviving, but many times thriving, during the challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s time for travel-related business owners to mark their spot on the staycation, fun-cation travel map. In fact, pre-pandemic days in 2019, the Connecticut State Department of Tourism recognized tourism as essential to Connecticut’s economic wellness.

The tourism department restored marketing funds to Connecticut’s tourism districts (Eastern, Central and Western). The Western Connecticut Tourism District (WCTD) helps to increase leisure and business travel to the 63 towns within its region that includes Fairfield County, Litchfield Hills, and the Naugatuck Valley Region.

With a growing number of new residents, eager day-trippers, and travelers preferring to stay close to home, there is no better time to boost Connecticut’s tourist businesses and attract more visitors. Tourism-related businesses, such as farms, restaurants, inns and art galleries are invited to take advantage of the state’s marketing initiatives. It’s an easy two-step process:

Register on the region’s database, partner with Visit CT, and share events, information and photos to be used for possible website content, future billboards and/or TV ads: https://partner.ctvisit.com/partner-with-us.

To view how the state and district are managing submitted content, visit the state’s tourism website: https://www.ctvisit.com/listings/western-regional-tourism-district and the district’s social media platforms: https://www.facebook.com/VisitConnecticut, https://www.facebook.com/visitwesternCT and on Instagram @visit_westernct.

In addition, small business owners, as well as community members, are invited to join the Board of Directors of WCTD and attend meetings. The group meets four times each year on the third Wednesday of a given month at 10 a.m. Meetings typically adjourn before noon. Board members, appointed by the local town councils within each district, always seek motivated partners willing to be hands-on in helping to advertise local tourism.

The next district board meeting is Wednesday, April 21 at 10 a.m. via Zoom. To attend, please email the district’s administrator, Terry Macary at administrator@visitwesternconnecticut.com.

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