State study: Visitors to CT spent $8.3B in 2013

The economic impact of Connecticut tourism in 2013 continued to creep back toward its pre-recession high, according to astate-commissioned report released Wednesday.

Visitors to the state increased their spending to $8.3 billion in 2013, up from $8 billion in 2012 and $8.1 billion in 2011, according to the report, which was authored by Pennsylvania-based Tourism Economics and comes ahead of the May 12 Governor’s Conference on Tourism at the Connecticut Convention Center.

The spending by those 58.1 million visitors created additional indirect and induced economic impacts that together totaled $14 billion, the report said.

And it also generated direct state and local taxes of $504.6 million and 80,645 direct jobs with a payroll of $5 billion.

The 2012-2013 spending increase was driven by the food and beverage and retail sectors.

Meanwhile, the largest piece of the tourism pie — recreation and entertainment — declined by 1 percent, to $2.8 billion. That category includes casino spending.

Two-thirds of visitors to Connecticut in 2013 were day travelers, but overnight travelers accounted for 62 percent of total spending, or $5.1 billion, the report said.

State tourism officials will kick off the latest iteration of their “Connecticut still revolutionary” marketing campaign later this month.