Governor Malloy recently announced budget-cutting goals that affect all state agencies. Among those facing cutbacks is the Connecticut Office of Tourism (COT). Parcheesi grandmaster and COT director Randy Fiveash has identified several places to meet the lower budget targets.
One is to replace the welcome center in Danbury with a push-button kiosk featuring the voice of Siri.
Advertising for the state will focus on less expensive media such as radio and the use of town criers. To save costs on ink and printing, the long slogan, “Connecticut – Still Revolutionary” will be replaced by a cat emoji. “Everyone likes cats,” explains Fiveash.
Grants to tourist destinations like Mystic are also threatened. In response, Mystic Aquarium’s president plans changes like shorter hours of operation, replacing staff with trained seals, as well as combining the alligator and shark tanks and hoping for the best.
Since the large old ships at Mystic Seaport require expensive maintenance, their director is shelving them in favor of smaller, replica boats in an upcoming exhibit entitled, “Dingeys of the American Revolution”.
Fiveash’s plan includes reducing the number of towns they promote in official visitors’ guides to save on printing costs and focus their efforts on Connecticut’s “jewels.” “We must accept that many cities in the state are plain boring, or reflect badly on the state — like Bridgeport.”
Bristol Bureau of Tourism (BBT) spokesman Laura Mums is anxious to make Bristol one of those jewels. “Bristol has amazing museums and a nature center. One thing we wanted to add was the world’s largest rubber band. Unfortunately, the State hasn’t funded this project due to the budget problem and concerns we’d use it to fire spit balls at New Britain.”