(Host) Some 200 travel professionals, mostly from New York City, are visiting the Killington region this week. As VPR’s Nina Keck reports, it’s part of a large-scale effort to boost tourism:
(Keck) If you bring them, they will come – and hopefully, they’ll encourage others to do the same. That’s what the Killington Chamber of Commerce hopes. It’s invested $50,000 and has gathered $500,000 more in donations from member-businesses to sell travel industry professionals on the Killington region. The Chamber’s director, Marie Gilmond, says they want to let people know there’s more to the Killington region than the resort.
(Gilmond) “We have brought the whole community together. Actually, 127 businesses stepped up to the plate to sponsor this event and be a part of it. And we are putting people in lodging all over the community and they’re eating all over the community. And the bus tours are taking them to all of our fabulous attractions, including some things that are not usually open at this time of year.”
(Keck) That community Gilmond’s talking about includes neighboring towns like Mendon, Chittenden, Pittsfield, Bridgewater, Rutland and West Rutland, to name a few. Planning started 18 months ago and some 2,700 invitations were sent out in the fall. Fifty travel writers were here over the weekend and 150 travel agents and tour guides will be here this week.
(Gilmond) “We’re hoping that we’ll get lots of articles written in publications from the travel writers who were here over the weekend. The folks that are here now, we’re hoping that they’ll go back and sell Killington to their clients.”
(Keck) Gilmond says a follow up tour will be held this summer with another winter tour in the planning stages for travel professionals from the Boston area.
For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Nina Keck in Killington.