Industry Update
Press Release26 March 2021

Randy Fiveash, Director Of The Connecticut Office Of Tourism, To Retire

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Connecticut Office of Tourism

After 13 years of serving as Director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism, and over 40 years in the tourism, hospitality and destination marketing industries, Randall Lee (Randy) Fiveash will retire effective April 1, 2021.

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Fiveash was appointed the Director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism in November 2008, where he is responsible for leading the state's annual multi-million-dollar statewide tourism marketing budget, strategic planning and development efforts—all foc used on driving economic growth through the tourism industry.

Connecticut tourism has grown into a $15.5 billion industry that generates $2.2 billion in tax revenues and supports over 123,000 jobs in total.

Working in partnership with his team and Connecticut's business and legislative community, Fiveash was instrumental in advocating for the industry, as well as successfully helping to restore funding for promoting Connecticut as a prime destination for leisure and business travelers. He led the agency's data-driven, results-generating marketing program, which includes the state's official tourism website, www.CTvisit.com. The site receives more than 7 million visits per year and features over 5,000 Connecticut tourism businesses and events.

"I've been blessed with a long career of doing what I love best—promoting tourism as a way to drive economic growth, as well as to enrich the lives of residents and visitors alike," said Randy F iveash. "I've been hesitant to make this move until now. But with vaccines becoming more widely available, business restrictions easing and pent-up travel demand increasing, there are so many reasons to be hopeful for a solid recovery this summer for our state's many tourism businesses."

The experienced team at the Connecticut Office of Tourism and Department of Economic and Community Development will continue the important work of supporting and promoting Connecticut's tourism industry. A new Director will be named in the coming weeks.

Prior to becoming Connecticut's Director of Tourism, Fiveash served as Commissioner of Tourism for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Working with the Governor and Secretary of the Cabinet, Fiveash led the successful, research-based "Kentucky Unbridled Spirit" state branding effort, with legislative, citizen and industry support and involvement.

Fiveash has also served as Executive Director of the Nation al Tourism Foundation and served in CEO positions of Convention and Visitor Bureaus in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Arlington, Texas, Gatlinburg, Tennessee and Branson, Missouri.

Fiveash was a Delegate to the White House Conference on Travel and Tourism and has served in leadership positions on the Boards of Destinations International, Travel South USA, South Carolina, Tennessee and Missouri Convention and Visitor Bureau Associations, the Southeast Tourism Society, National Tourism Foundation, the Mississippi River Development Association, and Discover New England, among others.

"It has been my privilege to work with so many dedicated tourism industry professionals over the years, from Connecticut, Kentucky and South Carolina to Tennessee, Texas and Missouri," said Fiveash. "I look forward to an active retirement, including more time for travel myself."

Fiveash is originally from Macon, Georgia and is a graduate of Mercer University, with a master's degree from Central Connecticut State University. He is married to his wife, Shari, and together within their blended family, they have five children and two granddaughters spread from California to New Jersey.

About the Connecticut Office of Tourism

The Connecticut Office of Tourism, a division of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), is dedicated to enhancing the economic growth of Connecticut's tourism industry. Together with its many state and industry partners, the Office of Tourism works to bolster the state's reputation as a destination that offers a diverse mix of activities and attractions, all in close proximity to each other—from the exciting and relaxing to the historic and innovative to the culture and nature-focused. For more information, visit www.CTvisit.com.

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