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Connecticut has parted ways with its "Still Revolutionary" slogan to the relief of some residents. Now many are left wondering: How will the state move forward marketing itself to tourists?

This hour, we take an in-depth look at this question and we also hear from you. What local attractions or attributes would you like to see highlighted as part of a campaign to draw visitors to our state? 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The regular session of the Connecticut General Assembly adjourns at the stroke of midnight four weeks from tonight.

So far, none of the biggest policy goals identified early on by majority Democrats have made their way to the governor's desk for his consideration.

Not electronic highway tolls. Not legalizing recreational marijuana. Not sports betting. Not paid family and medical leave.

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The Thames River Heritage Park Foundation has received a grant to help expand and enhance the services the park provides.

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Connecticut House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz has convened what's described as a blue ribbon panel on tourism in the state.

At the beach in Magens Bay, St. Thomas, the party is back on. It's one of the Virgin Islands' most popular beaches and by noon on a recent weekday, it's already busy. Reggae-inspired hip hop is playing as pickup trucks converted into taxis bring visitors direct from the cruise ship docks. Chris Dimopoulos runs the bar, serving up margaritas, rum punches and something called the painkiller.

"We're seeing a recovery slowly but surely. Every day gets a little bit better," he says.

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Puerto Rico is officially declaring itself open for tourism -- nearly three months after Hurricane Maria. But on an island where so many people still lack electricity, what does open for tourism mean?

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With the unofficial start to summer on Memorial Day weekend, Connecticut legislators are looking at a creative way to save state parks from budget cuts, closures, and restricted services.

Summer resorts around the nation are bracing for a tough season — not because the tourists won’t come, but because the workers might not. The reinstatement of a cap on visas for temporary workers has some in the hospitality industry predicting catastrophe.

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For decades, the three counties of Massachusetts along the Connecticut River — Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden — have been collectively known as the Pioneer Valley, but some boosters of the region decided the moniker is old-fashioned and confusing. 

 

 Several hiker-generated petitions have started in opposition to plans to build a hotel near the summit of Mount Washington, the Northeast's highest peak.

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The state’s chambers of commerce say they want to be the ones to step up and oversee regional tourism promotion, now that the state of Connecticut has defunded its tourism districts. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Bradley Airport put the “International” back into its name Wednesday as a daily flight from Hartford to Ireland gets underway. Irish national carrier Aer Lingus will operate the evening flight to Dublin. 

Tourism professionals have warned that eliminating funding for Connecticut’s regional tourism districts risks hurting the state’s economy. 

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This Saturday, you have no excuse to say there's nothing to do in Connecticut. That's because it's the state's Open House Day for residents and visitors to explore the state -- from the smallest of historical sites to the largest of museums. This hour, we preview just a sliver of what is out there. What little gems exist where you live?

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Monday announced $5.5 million in projects to construct visitor centers at each entrance of the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world —  Walkway Over the Hudson. Cuomo made the announcement mid-bridge before a number of local elected officials and others.

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The drama involving Stamford’s Starwood Hotels and Resorts continues. It now looks as if the company will go with its original merger partner after all. 

A hotel in downtown Dubai erupted in flames on Thursday evening, just two hours before the city was due to celebrate New Year's Eve with a massive fireworks display.

At midnight local time, the celebration proceeded as planned — resulting in a jarring double display of light and smoke, as firefighters continued to battle the blaze at one skyscraper while fireworks were sent off from the nearby Burj Khalifa.

Mohegan Sun is showing off progress on its new hotel development in Uncasville, a project that tribal chairman Kevin Brown said proves its commitment to its roots. 

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Tourism and the arts took a hit in the budget adjustment agreed on by Governor Dannel Malloy and the legislature in special session earlier this week. The adjustment was needed to fill a $350 million hole in the state budget.

Now that Starwood Hotels has announced it's to be bought by Marriott International, there's the small matter of state incentives to be worked out.

Starwood

Starwood, the hotels group which is Stamford’s largest employer, is being bought by Marriott International. Marriott will pay $12.2 billion for Starwood. The combined company will be the largest hotel group in the world, with more than 5,000 properties.

For centuries, Vermont has been able to turn fall foliage into tourist dollars for the state. But there are two men who are now exporting the colorful leaves — for a price.

Tick Tock: Big Ben Slows As It Ages

Oct 20, 2015

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Ski resorts across the state are gearing up for the winter ski and riding season. But many resorts have seen a pleasant uptick in summer and fall business thanks to recent multi-million dollar investments in lodging and non-skiing activities. 

It’s October, and it’s supposed to be foliage season. But the splendor of the foliage in Northern New England isn’t what it used to be. Climate change, local pollution, invasive species, disease and development have all conspired to change the multicolored landscape to make it less so. NHPR's Peter Biello spoke with David Brooks, a reporter for The Concord Monitor and writer at GraniteGeek.org

The cost of getting into some national parks increases on Thursday.

The rates will go up despite the fact that visitation at parks is up, which means bigger crowds, congested traffic and busier visitor centers. But more people aren't translating into a big boost for park budgets. For example, visitation at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is up 20 percent so far this year and Yosemite, Yellowstone and Zion are also seeing double-digit increases. The parks are also seeing the strain. About 100 parks are planning an entrance fee hike.

Doreen Cooney has owned the Deerfield Valley Inn in West Dover for 17 years and she is ready to try something new.

She put the property on the market last year, and after a pending deal with a potential buyer fell through she decided she would try something different to help her get out of the bed and breakfast business:

Cooney wants to give away the historic Deerfield Valley Inn.

Foliage season is always a busy time in Stowe but this season the town may see even more leaf peepers, after landing on top of TripAdvisor's top 10 list of U.S. fall foliage destinations.

More than 125 cyclists are making their way across Massachusetts on a two-wheeled trek known as the Berkshires to Boston Bicycle Tour.

New Lebanon, New York is a town of roughly 2,300 people nestled in between the Berkshire Mountains and the Hudson Valley. In a town that small you might wonder why anyone would stop other than to fill up the gas tank or grab a bite to eat, never mind a tourist attraction. But what if the attraction was life in a small town itself? WAMC’s Jim Levulis explores an effort to immerse people in the backbone of America.

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