Concerns That Tourists Will Cancel Fall Plans in Wake of Irene
By Pat Bradley
Plattsburgh, NY – 23-percent of Vermont's annual tourism revenues are based on fall foliage travel to the state. But calls are coming in from travelers thinking about cancelling their fall vacations. Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Megan Smith says they are planning an aggressive PR campaign beginning next week to let people know Vermont is open for business. The Vermont Chamber's website flags visitors that "much of Vermont was unscathed". Chamber of Commerce President Betsy Bishop says they are using social media to get the word out. In the Adirondack region, Lake Placid Convention and Visitors' Bureau and Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism Spokesperson Kimberly Riley says they too are concerned that people will think damage is too great to plan a fall visit. Tourism officials are hearing similar queries from potential visitors. Again Vermont Tourism Commissioner Megan Smith. Vermont's Green Mountain National Forest is open but flood damage is extensive with many roads, camp sites and trails are inaccessible. In the Adirondacks, the DEC has closed all trails to the highest and most popular summits in the High Peaks, Giant Mountain, and Dix Mountain wilderness areas. Hikers are also being advised to avoid trails in the Catskill Mountains.