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Many Vermont tourist spots already seeing more visitors

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 5:55 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - As the state of Vermont tries to work its way back to normal, tourism officials are preparing for an influx of travelers.

The Vermont Tourism Department says with travel restrictions lifted two weeks ahead of schedule, they anticipate more visitors this year. They also expecte large crowds at some of the state’s largest summer events.

“We’re actually quite excited,” said Gene Richards of the Burlington International Airport.

The tourism industry is gearing up for a busy summer in Vermont.

“We’re expecting June we’ll be back at 75% of what it was a year ago,” Richards said.

He says they’re currently seeing 6,000 travelers a week. That number is expected to jump to 10,000-12,000 in July and August.

That’s good news for some of the popular tourist spots in the state.

Shelburne Vineyards is nestled between the Shelburne Museum and the Vermont Teddy Bear Company. It typically enjoys more tourists in the summer.

Tasting Room Manager Kate Cartwright says they had a slow winter but things have picked up rapidly since April. She says they’ve seen record levels of visitors each day.

“We can have upward of 150 people here on a given day, on a busy weekend day. As of just this past weekend,” Cartwright said.

She says the crowds are typically a mix of Vermonters and out-of-staters.

“You can still get here by car without flying even from Jersey or Pennsylvania quite easily. So yeah, we see people from all over the place. It’s great,” Cartwright said.

We also checked in with the Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop on Church Street in Burlington. A shift manager tells me more than 1,000 people on average stop by each weekend day right now, and they expect more this summer when they bring back evening hours.

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