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Malloy, Casinos Tout Tourism As Major State Industry

Malloy, Casinos Tout Tourism As Major State Industry

Hartford Courant, March 17, 2017

By Christopher Keating

A new study that was released Thursday shows that tourism is a nearly $15 billion business in Connecticut, stretching to all regions of the state.

The study says that total direct and indirect sales that are related to tourism in 2015 were $14.7 billion in an industry that has nearly 83,000 jobs, according to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's administration.

“The tourism sector is one of the major drivers of Connecticut’s economy,” Malloy said in a statement.  “It creates jobs, highlights the fantastic array of cultural and entertainment venues in the state, and contributes to our high quality of life.  Based on the results of this analysis, there can be no doubt that our strategic investment in tourism is fueling economic growth.”

Biggest drivers of tourism back to top

Two of the biggest drivers of tourism are the casinos operated by the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes in southeastern Connecticut. 

"Tourism is unquestionably a major part of our state's economy,'' said Mohegan Tribal Council chairman Kevin Brown. "It supports good-paying jobs with good benefits and countless small businesses. This is an industry that deserves our support.''

While tourism is a key industry, some tourists have complained to The Courant's Jon Lender that the state has closed rest stops for long hours each day as a cost-savings measure during the state's budget crisis. The closings include the rest stop off Interstate 84 in Danbury, near the New York state line, where motorists cannot use the restroom facilities in the closed building at night and instead must use the portable facilities near the building at the end of the parking lot.