36th Annual Vermont Tourism Summit highlights successes and challenges in industry

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36th Annual Vermont Tourism Summit highlights successes and challenges in industry

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 9:00am -- Brandon

Wendy Knight, the Vermont Commissioner for Tourism and Marketing, addressing the Vermont Tourism Summit.

Vermont Business Magazine One of the largest gatherings of tourism professionals in the state was held last Thursday and Friday at the Doubletree in South Burlington. Throughout the two-day event, keynote speeches and breakout sessions focused on the need for increased tourism marketing funding, the importance of industry collaborations, and how private-public partnerships can extend marketing resources.

Governor Phil Scott kicked off the summit on Thursday expressing his gratitude to the tourism industry which provides $2.8 billion dollars to the Vermont economy, employs 32,000 people, and welcomes 13 million people a year to the state.  The opening keynote address was given by Jeff Tobe entitled Coloring Outside the Lines: Creating a New Tourism Experience. Bill Shouldice, CEO of Vermont Teddy Bear and Win Smith, owner of Sugarbush Resort closed the conference talking about the Vermont Futures Project, Vermont’s workforce story, and the impact on the future of tourism.

Wendy Knight, Commissioner of Tourism and Marketing shared the success of the State’s recent marketing efforts in increasing engagement on Tourism social media channels through original content, the department’s international visitor efforts, and the Stay to Stay program aimed at turning visitors into Vermonters.

Highlights included sixteen workshops on pertinent industry topics including marketing, leadership, and partnerships.

One of the highlights of the event was the Awards Celebration co-hosted by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. Brenda Greika, Vermont Department of Labor, was recognized as the 2019 Christiane Skinner Vermont Tourism Champion of the Year for nearly 30 years of supporting the tourism industry. Other awards included the Vermont Chamber of Commerce’s Restaurateur of the Year awarded to the Wayside Restaurant, Bakery and Creamery;  Sarah Natvig, Black Krim Tavern was the Chef of the Year; Peter MacLaren, West Hill Inn and B & B is the Bordon E. Avery Innkeeper of the Year and Paula Maynard, Hildene is the Tourism Partner of the Year. Cabot Creamery was honored for their 100 Year Anniversary, and their commitment to tourism in the state.

For more information on the event, visit www.vttourismsummit.org.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott addressing the Vermont Tourism summit.

Source: Delaney Meeting & Event Management