October 17, 2018

House Speaker Aresimowicz launches tourism blue ribbon panel

HBJ File Photo
HBJ File Photo
The Riverfront Recapture has drawn crowds back to the banks of the Connecticut River.
House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin).

House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) launched a new panel Tuesday aimed at boosting Connecticut's $14.7 billion tourism industry.

The Speaker's Blue Ribbon Panel on Tourism is slated to host several meetings and hearings across Connecticut in the months ahead to seek input from residents, businesses and other institutions on how to kickstart state tourism.

The panel will then recommend ways to strengthen Connecticut tourism to state lawmakers.

Aresimowicz announced the initiative before business leaders Tuesday at the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce in Middletown.

"Tourism should not be simply viewed as a cost but as an investment in our economy that creates jobs and can help pay for many of the programs and services vital to our residents," the house speaker said.

"The sector is strong, but there are legitimate concerns within the industry that the state has backed off a bit in its support and that we need to recommit to our investment in tourism and attracting visitors to our beautiful state," he said.

Connecticut's tourism industry supports nearly 83,000 jobs in the state and produces $1.7 billion in tax revenue, according to the state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD).

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