Cabot Creamery, Hartford Chambers Ottmann Take Top Industry AwardsMANCHESTER, Vt. A total of 312 attendees came away from the 2005 Vermont Travel Industry Conference (VTIC) with new knowledge, new contacts and new strategies for marketing their businesses. In addition, Cabot Creamery received the first ever Governors Award for Tourism Marketing Excellence and industry veteran Gayle Ottmann of the Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce was honored as the 2005 Vermont Travel Person of the Year.The VTIC is the Vermont travel industrys premiere event, and this year was held November 30 to December 1 at the Equinox Resort and Spa in Manchester. The program included nationally known speakers Berkeley Young of Randall Travel Marketing Group, who looked at national travel trends; Bruce Baker of Middlebury who gave a lively and entertaining presentation on customer service; and luncheon speaker Warren Kimble of Brandon who spoke about community-based art projects in Vermont and what they can mean to the tourism industry. Also included were more than 20 educational workshops, a trade show and extensive networking opportunities.The advantage of an event like the Vermont Travel Industry Conference is that it brings together a lot of resources in one place in a very short period of time, said Vermont Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Bruce Hyde. For people who cant afford to be away from their businesses for a long period, VTIC really allows them to maximize educational and networking opportunities.At the 2005 VTIC, Cabot Creamery was presented with the first-ever Governors Award for Tourism Marketing Excellence. The award recognized Cabots efforts in promoting the Vermont brand, for its long-standing marketing partnerships with the State of Vermont and the Vermont Ski Areas Association and for the work it has done over the years to broadly promote Vermont beyond its own product line. This included the recent Grand Journey of the Lois McClure and the Best of Vermont Showcase in New York City this past summer.I was very pleased to see Cabot presented with the first Governors Award for Tourism Marketing Excellence, said Governor Jim Douglas. Cabot has long understood the power of the Vermont brand and has been incredible about supporting that brand through its marketing. Cabot Creamery is a good corporate citizen and the award is very deserving.In the other major award, Gayle Ottmann, Executive Director of the Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce, was honored as the 2005 Vermont Travel Person of the Year. Ottmann was recognized for her long and dedicated service to the industry including her years of work leading up to the opening of the new Quechee Gorge Visitors Center, the creation and development of the Quechee Balloon Festival, and as one of the key originators of the Creative Economy Summit. Also highlighted was Ottmanns service on a variety of local boards, including as an incorporating member of the Hartford Development Corporation, as president of the Rotary Club of White River Junction, on the Town of Hartford Selectboard, as Chair of the Connecticut River Watershed Advisory Commission and as a member of the Steering Committee of the Connecticut River Byway Council.Tourism remains a vital industry in Vermont. According to research from the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing, each year, visitors make 12.8 million trips to Vermont for leisure, business or personal travel. Visitor spending totals $1.46 billion annually, supports 36,470 jobs, and contributes $181.7 million in tax and fee revenues to the State of Vermont in the General, Education and Transportation Funds.###
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