The Vermont Attractions Association (VAA) was founded in 1957. We represent Vermont's finest destinations. We focus on experiences and education as a component of the visitor experience. VAA members meet high standards while offering experience in agricultural tourism, art, excursions, galleries, guided tours, history, museums, recreation, shopping, and specialty foods and beverages.
The VAA annually publishes nearly 1 million copies of the Official Vermont Road Map and Guide to Vermont Attractions. The map is distributed to visitors from around the globe who inquire about Vermont Attractions; in key Vermont visitor markets and statewide at Welcome Centers and VAA member locations. The VAA manages the website, www.vtattractions.org which serves as a valuable tool for visitors to learn more about VAA. In addition, each VAA member actively promotes other member attractions, working together in a comprehensive distribution program and encouraging visitors to spend additional time enjoying other VAA member attractions.
The Vermont Chamber of Commerce manages the VAA. Karen Ballard serves as VAA President. Karen is also the Program Manager for the Vermont Chamber's group tour promotion program, the Vermont Tourism Network.
The Association defines an attraction as, "A tourist attraction open to the general public for the purpose of recreation, entertainment, education, music, history, agriculture, the arts, artisan products, which meets the established standards of the Association." And yes, your attraction must reside with Vermont.
Particular emphasis is placed on the following:
- An attraction destination with parking, restrooms and accessible to the public. Prepared to handle the volume of visitors that membership in the Association might generate.
- Offer an experience suitable for the entire family.
- Consistently maintain the property both inside and outside.
- Easily accessible; safety must not be an issue in reaching or visiting the site.
- Participate in the member-to-member VAA brochure distribution program. VAA brochure rack must be in your location. Provide adequate brochures/rack cards on a yearly or seasonal basis for member-to-member distribution.
A major goal of the Association is to establish, develop, and promote high standards for tourism in Vermont. It is essential that quality and performance is of the highest order.
What members say about VAA:
The year we joined Vermont Attractions our sales increased 40% during that summer and fall. Folks signed up for our mailing list and we listed “How did you hear about our farm?” I would estimate that about half the people checked 'Vermont Attractions map' in the summer and 40% during the fall. We found visitors planning longer trips used sources before a trip more like AAA and the State of Vermont Travel Information. Our weekend travelers seemed to decide what to do once they reached the state. We are 3 miles off RT 4 so nobody just drives by and stops. I would also like to say that the membership committee was very helpful when we first applied to VAA- making suggestions of other activities and signage we could do to make the farm more educational.
- Betsy Luce, Sugarbush Farm
Vermont Attractions helps our business daily by directing customers to our location from all over the state. Although we are not located on a well-traveled corridor, we get the majority of our visitors from those who see our rack card or see us on the map.
- Mark Simakaski, Artesano
This was ClearLake's first year in the VAA program and I wanted you to know it exceeded my expectations in its ability to bring quality people to my showroom. There have been plenty of "just lookers" but I have had some very large contracts due to the VAA. Thank you and keep up the good work.
- Brent Karner, Owner/Master Craftsman, ClearLake Furniture
All applications are subject to acceptance by majority vote of the Association Board of Directors.