Posted on June 3, 2021
Hartford – The House of Representatives recently approved a tourism development bill. The concept for the legislation originated in the Commerce Committee, of which State Rep. Billy Buckbee (R-New Milford) serves as the Ranking Member. The language of the bill calls for the formation of a task force that will examine employment deficiencies within Connecticut’s tourism industry. There is also a provision providing flexibility to municipalities, encouraging collaboration with each other.
“The work of the task force will be integral in forming future legislative proposals, crafted to enhance our tourism offerings. Connecticut has beautiful natural resources and state-of-the-art attractions, but we must bridge the gap in telling others about visiting and engaging in our various communities,” said Rep. Buckbee. “Perhaps it’s our proximity to the border, but New Milford is no stranger to hosting New Yorkers and many other visitors. It is my hope the task force will come up with suggestions to maximize these experiences and entice potential employers to open up shop here.”
The bill allows for two municipalities to jointly appoint a representative to a regional tourism board of directors. Further, the bill calls for an expansion of the Connecticut Tourism Coalition, which evaluates the Dept. of Economic and Community Development’s marketing plan on tourism and reports back to the legislature on its findings.
“This legislation will make a positive impact on virtually every community throughout Connecticut, including ours. I commend my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for joining me in providing a pathway for tourism-related businesses to thrive,” concluded Buckbee.
The bill is currently calendared for the Senate’s consideration. The Senate must act on the bill before Wednesday, June 9, for it to cross the finish line. Buckbee is hopeful it will receive the same unanimous support it got when it was considered in committee and on the House Floor.