Tourism efforts include digital billboards, college fair

CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire tourism officials are using digital billboards, wall advertisements, and college fairs to attract potential visitors in other states.

In addition to continued focus on Boston and Canada, the state’s Division of Travel and Tourism Development is reaching out more to New York City Hartford, Connecticut Portland, Maine and Providence, Rhode Island, to draw visitors this summer.

Besides using TV, podcasts and social media, some examples are a digital billboard on Interstate 84 in Hartford featuring New Hampshire images a kayaking wall ad near the entrance of the Holland Tunnel in New York with the phrase, “There’s more than one way to cross the river.”

The efforts are being discussed at this year’s Governor’s Conference on Tourism, which began Monday in Concord.

Tourism is one of the state’s largest industries. The division says it recorded 2.2 million visitor trips to the state last year, spending $5.5 billion. That produced $269 million in room and meals tax revenue for the state. There are 48,000 jobs connected to tourism and hospitality in New Hampshire.

Victoria Cimino, division director, said New Hampshire’s “Live Free” tourism campaign is focusing on the state being “the most ideal mix” of all things New England. The reach to attract visitors is extending into education and business, as well.

For example, the division partnered with the New Hampshire College and University Council and others at a college fair in New York City last month. Nine New Hampshire institutions were represented.

Cimino said lifestyle is an important consideration in attending college, and the division wants the state’s scenic beauty and outdoor recreation to be considered.

“Our schools are already hearing back from students who attended the fair and have expressed interest in how to enrol,” said Mike Vlacich, president of the college and university council. “Investments like these help our state’s economy.”

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