State attracting DNC 'refugees'

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State attracting DNC 'refugees'

Thu, 07/22/2004 - 8:00pm -- tim

State Takes Aggressive, But Low Key Approach To Attracting 'DNC
Refugees'
MONTPELIER, Vt. - Northeastern states are taking different approaches in
attracting Boston-area 'refugees' from the Democratic National
Convention's
(DNC) stringent security precautions and Vermont is among the states
banking
on a low-key approach to send the right message to potential visitors.
"Some states have chosen very targeted messages specifically directed at
the
Democratic National Convention and the impact it will have on daily life
in
Boston," said Commissioner Bruce Hyde of the Vermont Department of
Tourism
and Marketing (VDTM). "We're running an aggressive campaign in the
Boston
market and throughout the Northeast but we've chosen instead to take a
positive approach with our advertising and rely on Vermont's strong
brand
recognition as a beautiful and peaceful place to visit."
New Hampshire and Maine have opted for very specific DNC-oriented
messages,
while Vermont, Connecticut and New York are staying the course with
their
regular summer media campaigns.
Vermont Governor Jim Douglas said he agreed with the Department's
approach.
"Rather than focusing on how bad things will be in Boston during a very
specific period of time, we'd rather be telling folks how great Vermont
is
all the time," Douglas said. "The Vermont brand is both very well
established and very positive and I wouldn't want to see Vermont taking
an
approach in its advertising that could, in any way, be perceived as
negative."
Hyde said in addition to the Department's media campaign, Vermont has
also
taken advantage of the free PR generated by the New Hampshire and Maine
campaigns. "We've been interviewed by a variety of Boston-area media
outlets
about our marketing strategy in light of the other state's campaigns
which
has given us a great opportunity to talk about Vermont for free," Hyde
said.
Hyde added that among the PR 'hits' for Vermont was travel guru Rudy
Maxa
(perhaps best known for his work on National Public Radio's 'The Savvy
Traveler') during an interview on one Boston television station
recommending
Vermont as the top driving getaway destination for people seeking to get
out
of Boston.
Hyde said it is still not clear what the impact of 'DNC Refugees' will be
on
Vermont tourism, and that most of the evidence, at least in the short
term
will be anecdotal. Summer travel generates an estimated $1.2 billion
impact
on the Vermont economy and brings the highest number of visitors to the
state - approximately 33.3% of all annual visitors. Examples of the
media
campaign can be found online at www.Vermontpartners.org
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