HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut launched its newest tourism campaign Thursday, marketing the state as an attraction offering a lot without a long drive.
The $3.4 million advertising and social media effort unveiled at a tourism conference in Hartford will run through August. It will appear in nearby markets such as the New York City area, Hartford-New Haven, Providence, R.I., and western Massachusetts.
Connecticut launched its "Still Revolutionary" marketing campaign in 2012 seeking to draw attention to the state's role in both the Revolutionary War and Industrial Revolution.
The industry generated about $11.5 billion annually in economic activity in Connecticut and accounted for about 110,000 jobs in 2011, according to state officials.
However, Fred Carstensen, director of the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis at the University of Connecticut, said the numbers are outdated and more recent data are not available. State officials are not funding research into the economic impact of tourism, making it difficult to tailor marketing efforts properly, he said.
"We mostly throw darts," Carstensen said. "Sometimes we hit a target. Sometimes we break a window."
The campaign launched in 2012 has generated $219 million in revenue, said Kip Bergstrom, deputy commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development.
The newest phase is the "booster rocket" taking off from the initial campaign begun two years ago, he said.