Should Vermont spend more on marketing the state?

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STOWE, Vt. (WCAX) Stakeholders in Vermont's tourism industry say the state needs to boost its marketing efforts.

The Scott administration held a tourism roundtable in Stowe Wednesday and a top concern was competing with other New England states. Vermont's marketing spending is well behind other New England states, whose lodging occupancy rates are growing faster. Vermont spends $3 million per year, while Maine spends $15 million.

Commerce Secretary Michael Schirling says the Scott administration asked the Legislature to commit all revenue above 5 percent growth in the tourism industry to marketing but didn't find support.

Rachel Vandenberg, a lodge owner in Stowe, says the industry needs help attracting visitors.

"We really need to look at raising our marketing budget and understanding that it's an investment that has a great return on its dollars that you're putting into it," Vandenberg said.

"For everything above that the industry generates, reinvest that back into marketing and we couldn't get traction on that either," Schirling said.

Vermont Tourism Commissioner Wendy Knight says Maine dedicates a portion of its rooms and meals tax revenue to marketing.