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Tourism industry urges Legislature to fund increased promotion

Second annual Vermont Tourism Day to highlight importance of sector to state’s economy

“If you fund it, they will come.”

That is the crucial message behind the second annual Vermont Tourism Day, slated for Jan. 15, 2020, at the State House in Montpelier. The event will highlight the importance of tourism to Vermont and advocate for increased tourism funding to encourage more out-of-state tourists to visit.

Tourism contributes more than $2.5 billion 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% 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 in Vermont and the state is losing market share within New England. The state has decreased its investment in tourism promotion by 6% 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.

“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 (R-Stowe). “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.”

On Tourism Day, 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. Additionally, the organizers behind Tourism Day are urging Vermonters to show support for increasing tourism promotion funding by signing an online petition or by contacting their local legislators and the Governor’s office to urge support for the increase.

For more information on Vermont Tourism Day, visit its event page on Facebook.

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