As someone who lives in Connecticut, I’m aware of what the state has to offer. There’s skiing and snowboarding, plenty of winter drivers, and more than a few restaurants to duck into to avoid the cold. When the air doesn’t hurt, there’s lots of hiking and beautiful scenery, delicious seafood, and all kinds of beaches within driving distance. There’s a lot to love, no matter the time of year.
But when I read that Connecticut’s tourism industry is doing well, I was still confused. According to The New Haven Register, somehow, Connecticut’s tourism employment grew by 1.6% in 2015 (the 5th straight year it went up) and our tourism-related business sales rose 4.6% since 2013. Suffice to say, the numbers tell a good story.
That’s the “what,” but it doesn’t exactly explain the “how.”
You’ll have to forgive me, but between New York’s glamour, Boston’s New England essence, and plenty of other great options for travel in places like Vermont and Maine, I feel like Connecticut is often the forgotten “middle child” of our region.
Maybe it’s a complex, but for years all I’ve heard from outsiders is that Connecticut is drive-through territory, a place that houses stereotypical rich folks, or just that state with the decent college basketball program.
Now, we locals know that doesn’t tell the whole story, but how are all these other folks getting the message? Is it our casinos? It is Bradley’s rise on the airport scene? Is word finally getting out that New Haven pizza is better than New York pizza?
I honestly don’t know and it seems like we shouldn’t ask so many questions about a good thing, but isn’t anyone else curious? I’d like the next report on our supposedly booming tourism industry to come along with a little bit of an explanation, because as good as the news is, it feels like something isn’t adding up.