Business of Tourism: Eastern Regional Tourism District Update

As we enter the New Year the Eastern Regional Tourism District – marketing the 42 towns of eastern Connecticut as Mystic Country – has information that all of our tourism constituents/partners should be aware of.


Last July, when Governor Malloy eliminated funding for the Regional Tourism District system it became clearly apparent that major adjustments needed to be made to secure the sustained progress of the tourism industry in eastern Connecticut.  To accomplish this the Board of Directors of the ERTD directed that reserve funds and partnership support be used to maintain critical services and programs through at least the Columbus Day weekend.  With that accomplished the ERTD then turned to making plans for 2017.   

Here are the results:


The Eastern Regional Tourism District
& Mystic Country

Although state funding has been suspended, the District, which owns the trademarked name “Mystic Country,” continues to exist in state statute and as a corporate entity.  To preserve resources the Tourism District has:


Moved Offices

Our new physical address is: 15 Thames Street, Groton, CT  06340

Our new mailing address is: Eastern Regional Tourism District,

PO Box 507, Mystic, CT 06355

Phone and email  remain the same:  860 536-8822  and



Although the staff has been furloughed, a strong cadre of Board members and volunteers has stepped forward to preserve critical marketing and promotion efforts.  With this and additional partnerships and sponsorships the District will continue to encourage visitation to “Mystic Country” by maintaining core programs.


Continued Programs

  • Represent Mystic Country at major trade shows:
    • American Bus Association (ABA)
    • Discover New England Summit
    • New England Travel Showcase
    • Yankee Trails World Travel Marketplace

To partner with the District at any of these tradeshows email us at:

  • Continue to promote Mystic Country on social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram & Twitter)
  • Create and promote consumer-oriented stories and articles about Mystic Country on and other travel/destination websites
  • Gather Mystic Country tourism events and news to submit to publications
  • Produce and update Mystic Country online publications such as event guides and trails
  • Respond to tour operator and media inquiries
  • Update and maintain the Mystic Country photo library
  • Provide constituent services to the fullest extent possible, including assistance with

Email your events and press releases to:


While other organizations have recently expressed their intent to perform “regional tourism services” it remains unclear as to exactly what they will do and how they will accomplish their intention.



Our Future & the Connecticut Legislature

Since the Governor’s announcement to suspend regional tourism funding many people have expressed concern that this decision will further damage the State financial standing rather than improve it. Tourism is an investment rather than an expense which recent data has proven that since the reduction in tourism promotion investment the state tax revenues related to tourism activities have declined.


As the State Legislature convenes in 2017 many have expressed their intent to talk to individual legislators to make the case that regional tourism promotion is an important revenue producer and deserves to be reinstated in the budget.  With your help and perspective voiced to your representatives in the Legislature and a commitment for funding regional tourism promotion a strong successful tourism promotion effort can resume.


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Business of Tourism, a publication of the Eastern Regional Tourism District, is published on a monthly basis and electronically distributed to all businesses, groups and individuals who have an interest in the eastern Connecticut tourism industry. This publication will keep you apprised of tourism related events, legislation and promotions in the region.

Helping businesses be more successful.

Questions or Request? Please email us at:

Windham Region Chamber of Commerce
1010 Main St., P.O. Box 43
Willimantic CT 06226
Phone: (860) 423-6389
Fax: (860) 423-8235

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A very special thank you to our Corporate Sponsors for your dedication and continued support to our region.

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