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Connecticut attractions planning together in prep for the summer

HARTFORD -- The Connecticut Governor's Conference on Tourism brings representatives from attractions all over the state with one objective, to attract more people to visit Connecticut.

The annual event held at the Convention Center in Hartford is a place where summer strategies are plotted.

The objective is education, the other objective is to take away great opportunities for building partnerships," said Director of State Office of Tourism, Randy Fiveash.

The summer season is vital to the state's tourism industry which Fiveash said accounts for around $1.9 billion in tax revenue.

"Connecticut is a terrific place to spend your summer vacation whether it be a weekend or longer vacation. We're excited about the upcoming Summer." said Fiveash.

Gina Maria Alimberti, Business Manager of the Connecticut Trolley Museum, said the summer is vital to their bottom line.

"We're open seven days a week (during summer) so that's when we see most of our visitors."

Governor Dan Malloy, who addressed the crowd at the conference, said tourism has come a long way since the state's marketing budget was down to a single dollar nine years ago. The Governor has proposed $8.4 million to promote the Connecticut tourism industry next year, higher than this year but lower than the $15 million peak a few years ago.

Andy Wood, Senior V.P. of External Affairs at Mystic Aquarium said, "The goal is always to get tourists visiting us and spending time seeing all the great attractions."

Touting her venue, Mary Ann Clerkin from Infinity Music Hall and Bistro, said their Hartford location should be a summer stop for tourists.

"You can dine and get great music and really have a great evening," said Clerkin.