Tourism officials hope gas card will lure visitors to state
06/18/08 6:34AM By Ross Sneyd
(Host) Leaders of Vermont's travel industry say they think they can take advantage of high gas prices to increase business this summer.
They'll do it by giving away gas.
Deputy Tourism Commissioner Steve Cook says 80 million people live within a 300-mile drive of Vermont.
Cook says with gasoline at four dollars a gallon, the state figures it will cost a visitor $18 to $28 more this year to drive that distance to Vermont.
(Cook) "We really don't think that that's enough to be a hindrance to visitors coming to our state, especially to meet vacation plans. We haven't seen that so far and we're really optimistic that this summer Vermont's going to continue to be able to capitalize on its geographic location in New England.''
(Host) Cook says the gas giveaway promotion is part of a marketing campaign that will be advertised in cities in New York and New England.
He says it's also intended to remind people how close they are to Vermont's lakes, mountains and rivers.
(Cook) "The goal is really to try and increase awareness that Vermont is a close distance away, that can certainly be reached on a tank of gas. And we're going to be giving away enough fuel to get someone here and home again and try and generate some real interest in Vermont as a vacation destination.''
(Host) The state Tourism Department will give away gift cards worth $100 in gasoline once a week throughout the summer.