Chamber Announces New Regional Tourism Committee

Committee to collaborate on improving the economic impact of tourism on eastern Connecticut and ensuring a positive customer experience for visitors.

Eastern CT – The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut has announced the creation of the Eastern Connecticut Regional Tourism Committee (ECRTC), which will expand its responsibility for maintaining and growing tourism in the Mystic Country region. 

The ECRTC will be affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut and will serve as the area’s partner with the Connecticut Office of Tourism (COT). To facilitate and streamline the regions effort to support the tourism industry, the Greater Mystic Visitors Bureau will merge into the newly-formed Eastern Connecticut Regional Tourism Committee.

This unique public/private partnership ensures eastern Connecticut’s tourism industry will continue to thrive in the absence of state funding for the regional tourism districts. In addition, it will also streamline the region’s efforts to support and grow this important segment of our economy.

The ECRTC will foster collaboration among tourism entities by identifying the most efficient and effective action plans to promote tourism in Mystic Country. The Committee will also work to establish best-in-class visitors’ services to grow eastern Connecticut’s legacy as a premier tourism destination. In addition, the committee will work closely with the COT, the newly-formed Connecticut Tourism Coalition, and state legislators to preserve and grow state financial support for the industry.

“Tourism is a critical component to our region’s economy,” said Thomas “Tony” Sheridan, President & CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut. “In the absence of state support for the tourism industry, we have an obligation to be creative and find ways to promote and support this important segment of our economy.” 

The initiatives and responsibilities that will be undertaken include:

  • Serving as the primary tourism partner with the Connecticut Office of Tourism (COT) and the state’s tourism website:
  • Working in partnership with tourism groups, associations, and vendors
  • Providing staff support to the local tourism industry
  • Assisting with social media outreach for the region
  • Developing special offers, deals, and promotions for attractions, hotels and restaurants
  • Updating and promote a robust regional calendar for both residents and tourists
  • Serving as the fulfillment center for destination magazines and other promotional pieces
  • Facilitating co-op advertising opportunities for media outlets looking to partner with tourism businesses
  • Assisting with joint marketing of regional tourism packages such as the Mystic Pass Card
“Tourism is a very important economic driver for the state of Connecticut and eastern Connecticut,” said Randy Fiveash, Director of the Connecticut State Office of Tourism.  “Tourism generates over $14 billion statewide annually, employing over 82,500 direct jobs and providing $1.6 billion in total state and local tax revenue. We are pleased for the opportunity to work with the Connecticut Metro Chambers and other interested partners to work on creative ways to promote and expand this vital economic industry for the region.”

“This partnership is a true public/private partnership that will provide robust support for the tourism industry in the region,” Fiveash continued. “The financial constraints confronting the state will require the Connecticut Office of Tourism to absorb additional responsibilities to support state vendors.”    

The Eastern Connecticut Regional Tourism Committee will play a critical role in communicating and marketing the tourism potential of Mystic Country to hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. The Committee will begin its work in early January 2017 to plan for the spring and summer campaign. The Eastern Connecticut Regional Tourism Committee will include representatives from tourism vendors throughout the region.
* * *
About the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut:
The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut is a collaborative of business and community leaders dedicated to securing and enhancing the economic vitality of eastern Connecticut. The Chamber works to create value for its members and the region by providing forums for business networking, leadership and discussions of issues that affect the region; providing opportunities for members to showcase their products, services and accomplishments; helping small businesses succeed through educational programs; and working to reduce the costs of doing business in Connecticut.  For more information, visit