Outdoor recreation is at the center of Vermont tourism

Tourism Day at the State House is March 22nd

Vermont Business Magazine On the heels of one of Vermont’s largest snowfalls of the season, while skiers and snowboarders from neighboring states revel in fresh powder, Vermont will be celebrating Tourism Day at the State House on March 22, 2023. Throughout the day, industry leaders will engage with legislators and the governor to raise awareness to the collective contributions of the outdoor and visitor economy.

Whether it’s hiking the Long Trail, biking in the Kingdom, camping at Gifford Woods State Park, skiing at Smugglers’ Notch Resort, or sailing on Lake Champlain, visitors and future Vermonters come to our state to enjoy the world class outdoor recreation landscape, which is at the center of Vermont’s visitor economy.

Mountain biking at the Woodstock Inn's Saskadena Six trails. Courtesy photo.

Among the 60+ million tourists who live within a day’s drive, many visit to move in our scenic mountains, then stay overnight at our lodges, dine at local restaurants, and shop at local retailers, helping to sustain the small businesses that make up the fabric of our communities. Visitor spending creates jobs, generates tax revenue, drives growth in the state’s overall economy, and helps maintain our natural landscape as a vital economic resource.

“The ripple effect of outdoor recreation is visible in our vibrant downtowns and village centers with Vermonters and visitors focused on healthy outdoor pursuits and innovative businesses attracting employees to be part of building the communities we want to live in,” said Kelly Ault, Executive Director of the Vermont Outdoor Business Alliance. “This highly diversified outdoor sector is partnering with nonprofit organizations and the public sector to strengthen all that we value.”

With 8,000+ miles of public access trails, including the Appalachian, Long, Catamount and Cross Vermont trails, along with the newly open 93-mile Lamoille Valley Rail Trail; 40 alpine and nordic ski areas with over 8,800 skiable miles; hundreds of navigable waterways; a growing Hut system and the Velomont trail, Vermont is rich in recreational opportunities and assets. But, in order to maintain their environmental quality, while ensuring people will continue to have access to the trails and landscape of Vermont into the future, these assets require sustainable investment to provide thoughtful stewardship.

“The stewardship of our recreational assets has largely been led by non-profit organizations who are dependent on volunteers to keep these trails and waterways open for public access,” said Nick Bennette, Co-Chair of the Vermont Trails and Greenways Council. “It will take coordinated investment in these organizations and long-term visioning with stakeholders to maintain trails as critical infrastructure for Vermont communities that provide better health, sustainable economies, and an increased commitment to conservation.”

Investing in outdoor recreation at the community level can continue to foster Vermont’s visitor economy, through support for workforce recruitment and retention, bike and pedestrian friendly infrastructure, and the small businesses that provide needed services to our visitors. Vermont can continue to create communities that are resilient, diverse, and offer a high quality of life through this support.

“Increasing participation opportunities for the broad spectrum of communities visiting Vermont and the diverse communities that live in our State is the key to our growth and sustainability,” said Jackie Dagger, Program Manager for the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative. “By investing in our recreation resources at the community level and strengthening partnerships between stakeholder groups in the outdoor recreation economy we can do a better job of providing access to those who are historically underserved and attract more visitors to a welcoming Vermont.”

State House Schedule

8:00 – 9:00 am: Coffee with Governor Scott, Governor’s Ceremonial Office, State House
9:00 – 11:00 am: Joint Hearing on the Visitor and Outdoor Economy, Pavilion Auditorium, Pavilion Building
11:00 am – 1:00 pm: Lunch with Legislators, Cafeteria, State House
1:00 – 1:15 pm: House Floor Devotional and Resolution, House Chamber, State House
4:00 – 6:00 pm: Reception, Cafeteria, State House
Throughout Day: Committee Testimony, Committee Rooms, State House


The Vermont Trails and Greenways Council (VTGC) is an independent advisory body that works with the Vermont Department of Forest Parks and Recreation (FPR) to support Vermont trails and outdoor recreation. The Council was founded as a nonprofit made up of a wide range of Vermont trail stewardship organizations and municipalities. The VTGC’s primary mission is to ensure that people will always have access to the trails and landscape of Vermont.


The Vermont Outdoor Business Alliance (VOBA) is a nonprofit business organization that networks, educates, collaborates, and provides support to businesses, organizations, and individuals working to strengthen, expand, attract, and retain outdoor recreation economy businesses in Vermont.

VOBA’s mission is to educate Vermonters about outdoor recreation and to educate Vermont outdoor recreation businesses about business development initiatives, outdoor recreation economy policy and justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.


The Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative (VOREC) Is a network of public/private partners organized by the state to sustain, grow and drive development in Vermont’s outdoor recreation sector by leveraging natural outdoor recreation assets, brand and culture.

VOREC’s five pillars of work are to grow outdoor recreation-related businesses; increase participation in outdoor recreation activities among all demographics; strengthen the quality and extent of outdoor recreation resources; increase stewardship of outdoor recreation resources and environmental quality; and promote and enjoy the health and wellness benefits of outdoor recreation.

Montpelier, VT (March 20, 2023) — Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative