You may have read about the disheartening and disturbing incidences of racial intolerance directed at visitors of a camp that were staying in Stowe for a week-long event last month. The Department of Tourism and Marketing and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development have been in regular contact with the Stowe community to understand what occurred and how we might support the tourism industry in addressing the issue. The Stowe community mobilized quickly to write a letter of apology to the camp and parents, which Secretary Schirling and I both signed. They also brought in Curtiss Reed from the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity to discuss what short- and long-term strategies might be implemented to promote diversity and racial sensitivity in the community.
The Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing shares the same goal of the Vermont hospitality industry: to make all of our guests feel welcome, to treat them with respect and dignity, and to model and support tolerant and respectful behavior. In the coming months, we will be considering what other steps we might take collectively to address issues of diversity and racial sensitivity.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please reach out to me directly.
Hope to see you soon.
Wendy Knight, Commissioner