July 5, 2011

Governor Malloy Launches Tourism Drive at Mystic Aquarium

MYSTIC, Conn., July 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Gov. Dannel P. Malloy underscored his continuing commitment to tourism Tuesday during a visit to Mystic Aquarium, the state's leading non-casino attraction.

Malloy said tourism is an economic engine for the state and noted early signs of success resulting from the state's $2.6 million "Quick Start" Tourism Marketing Campaign. Mystic Aquarium is a lead partner in the campaign and had just witnessed a 19% jump in attendance over the same July 4 weekend last year.

Sea Research Foundation President and CEO, Stephen M. Coan, who also serves as Chairman of the Greater Mystic Visitors Bureau, said: "We attribute much of our early season success to the strong alignment between the Mystic region's tourism marketing objectives and those of the state. The 'Quick Start' Campaign complements, reinforces and adds clout to our own marketing efforts."

Malloy toured Mystic Aquarium, where he was presented with a Mystic Sea Pass, visited with a beluga whale, met an African penguin and enjoyed lunch at Penguins Cafe in support of the aquarium's "Lunch for $1" promotion.

Malloy later visited Mystic Seaport, which partners with Mystic Aquarium on the Mystic Sea Pass. Sales of the Mystic Pass and traffic to Mystic.org are far ahead of last year's numbers.

Coan said, "Malloy has stayed true to his commitment to grow tourism in Connecticut, and his visit to Mystic Aquarium today brings that commitment to life."

Malloy was accompanied by Executive Director of Commission on Culture and Tourism Kip Bergstrom and Director of Tourism Randall Fiveash and greeted by aquarium trustees and dignitaries, including State Sen. Andrew Maynard State and State Rep. Diana Urban.

Employing 260 people, Mystic Aquarium attracts 700,000 annual visitors and generates more than $70 million in economic impact each year. In addition to Mystic Aquarium's gate visitation, Sea Research Foundation reaches over 2.5 million young people each year with classroom and after-school programs worldwide.

About Mystic Aquarium

Mystic Aquarium is a division of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, and is counted among the nation's leading aquariums with more than 300 species and an extensive collection of marine mammals, including New England's only beluga whales. Mystic Aquarium has been a pioneer in offering guests a variety of up close encounters with a wide range of marine animals. The mission of Sea Research is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration. Learn more at www.mysticaquarium.org or www.searesearch.org.

    Contact:                   Erin Merz
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SOURCE Mystic Aquarium