Vermont tourism industry urges Legislature to increase funding for promotion

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VERMONT — “If you fund it, they will come,” is the crucial message behind the Second Annual Vermont Tourism Day, slated for January 15, 2020, at the State House in Montpelier.

The event will highlight the importance of tourism to Vermont and advocate for encouragement towards more visitors outside the state.

“Vermont is fortunate to have a strong tourism brand, but without increased investment this important economic and employment sector is in danger of falling behind the competition,” said Representative Heidi Scheuermann. “Increased funding would allow the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing to bolster the Vermont brand toward reversing the recent downward trend in visitor spending.”

Vermonters with knowledge and on-the-ground experience in the state’s tourism industry will convey to legislators and other leaders in Montpelier the importance of tourism promotion.

The organizers behind Tourism Day are urging Vermonters to show support for increasing tourism promotion funding by signing an online petition.

Tourism contributes more than $2.5B in spending to the Vermont economy each year.

The most recent Vermont Tourism Benchmark Study showed that the industry supports more than 32,000 jobs, roughly 10 percent of the state’s total workforce, and generates upward of $391 million in tax revenue, saving the average household $1,450 in taxes annually.

Tourism is increasingly underfunded, and the state has decreased its investment in tourism promotion by 6 percent over the last five years.

Over that same period, according to U.S. Travel Association data, Vermont ranks next-to-last among the six New England states in visitor spending growth and is the only New England state to lose visitor spending market share.

In addition, Vermonters can contact their local legislators and the Governor’s office to urge support for the increase.

Supporters can also use resources in the industry toolkit on the campaign landing page.

Members of the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee heard testimony from various tourism and non-tourism organizations and businesses from around the state, who advocated for increased funding for tourism promotion and marketing.