A state tourism grant for The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk will help the popular destination expand its marketing and bring in more visitors.
The Maritime Aquarium will receive a $50,000 Tourism Product Development grant from the state Department of Economic and Community Development’s Office of Tourism. The grant is intended to help the aquarium expand its marketing program, bring in more visitors and bolster its status as a major tourism destination in the state.
The Maritime Aquarium is a popular and much-loved treasure in our state. This grant will help the aquarium attract even more visitors from around Connecticut and beyond our borders. And we all know that increased tourism leads to more dollars being spent at local businesses, more jobs and ultimately a healthier economy. I applaud Gov. Malloy and the DECD for making this smart investment into local tourism.”
The Maritime Aquarium is in the process of creating new programming that will be both educational and fun for families. One plan in the works is to build a stage inside the IMAX Theater where live bands will perform concerts and high-profile speakers will give lectures on interesting topics. Another plan is to expand the kinds of films shown at the IMAX Theater, which is the biggest in Connecticut.
Jennifer Herring, president and CEO of The Maritime Aquarium stated, "I am so grateful to the governor DECD’s Office of Tourism and Sen. Duff for making this innovative grant funding available. We are looking to create a set of programming that gives new reasons for tourists to come to Connecticut and for families and adults to visit the Maritime Aquarium. We think by the time we are finished with this project, we will have established a whole new audience and will be able to further tailor a wonderful product that people will love.”
Earlier this week, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy visited the aquarium as part of his ongoing “Still Revolutionary” tourism campaign, which launched in the spring. Tourism in Connecticut generates about $11.5 billion in spending every year, employing nearly 111,000 workers statewide and generating approximately $1.15 billion in state and local tax revenue, according to 2011 statistics.
During a special session in June, I helped pass legislation that creates a “Connecticut Treasures” program as part of the 2012 Jobs Package. Its primary goal is to promote tourism in Connecticut, thereby benefitting the many local businesses which cater to tourists, including restaurants, shops, hotels, and more.