WHEREAS, pursuant to, inter alia, 3 V.S.A. section 2476(b), the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing (hereinafter “VDTM”) is responsible for the promotion of Vermont goods and services as well as the promotion of Vermont's travel, recreation and cultural attractions through advertising and other informational programs, and for provision of travel and recreation information and services to visitors to Vermont, in coordination with other agencies of state government, chambers of commerce and travel associations, and the private sector.
WHEREAS, VDTM understands that the Internet can be used as a tool for Vermont to compete with large, well funded marketing organizations in other states and countries;
WHEREAS, VDTM wishes to consistently market the elements of Vermont's brand, as defined by continuing brand research efforts;
WHEREAS, the Official Vermont Marketing Web Site is designed to contain information relevant to the marketing of the State, consistent with the Vermont brand, including business and activity listing, commerce activities such as lodging booking or product sales, and tourism marketing publications;
WHEREAS, the Official Vermont Marketing Web Site is a promotional campaign focused on content of a commercial nature designed to contribute to the effective marketing of Vermont's brand-oriented tourism opportunities, but is not intended to be a forum for political or otherwise inherently expressive speech or for free and open dialogue among users;
WHEREAS, all of VDTM's promotional campaigns should ensure that the highlighted tourism experiences protect, preserve, and enhance the resources and institutions on which the Vermont tourism experience was built;
WHEREAS, the major Vermont marketing themes VDTM wishes to promote include the state's cultural heritage, agricultural heritage, natural heritage, four-season outdoor recreation, and Vermont-made products;
NOW THEREFORE, based upon the above information and as further described below, VDTM establishes its Internet Links Policy related to the Official Vermont Marketing Web Site:
1. Internet links to tourism businesses and businesses that support tourism.
VDTM may also provide links to private sector tourism businesses or businesses that provide tangible and generally recognizable support to the tourism industry ('tourism-support businesses"), provided that:
a.those links are established through parties that have been linked under paragraph 1, or
b.through enrollment in the Vermont Business Registry and/or the Vermont Travel Planner.
2. Internet links through banner advertisements.
VDTM reserves the right to place banner advertisements within the Vermont Travel Planner and Vermont Life Explorer. VDTM also reserves the right to have those banner advertisements rotate on a random basis. VDTM reserves that opportunity to use banners as a promotional vehicle for itself and for the Marketing and Promotional Partners ("MAP"). VDTM also reserves that opportunity to make these available to entities that support the programs of VDTM through the placement of advertisements in Vermont Life Magazine, the placement of advertisements in Vermont Life Explorer or through participation in VDTM's marketing/ advertising campaigns.
3. Internet content consistency with VDTM Marketing Campaign.
An entity described in paragraph 1, 2 or 3 above shall only qualify for a linkage if such entity's content is consistent with the marketing campaign of VDTM. Based upon the sole judgment of VDTM, the content will be considered consistent if:
a. It promotes tourism and helps to inform potential visitors about Vermont,
b. It will be consistent with the elements of the Vermont brand, as identified through VDTM's brand research and as described in VDTM's annual marketing plan. These elements include, but are not limited to:
i. brand personality: friendly, independent, original, and respectful of the environment;
ii. brand attribute: beautiful, peaceful, natural, year-round outdoor fun, romantic, and special;
iii. brand physical assets: Green Mountains, lakes, rivers, streams, agricultural landscape, small New England villages, and hundreds of inns, B&Bs, lodges, resorts, and restaurants;
iv. brand consumer benefits: fun, good memories, quality products, lasting value, family togetherness, recharge/renew, getaway, and relax/unwind; and
v. brand core value: feeling great
c. It will be of a commercial nature, not of a political or other inherently expressive nature,
d. it will contribute to the effective marketing of Vermont's brand-oriented tourism opportunities,
e. It will highlight an experience that will protect, preserve, or enhance the resources and institutions upon which the Vermont tourism experience was built, and
f. it will relate specifically to, or will complement, any of VDTM's five official marketing themes:
i. Cultural heritage: tourism packages, experiences, and themes that interpret, highlight, and support the special character of Vermont through crafts, visual and performing arts, and historic traditions of the Vermont;
ii.Agricultural heritage: tourism packages, experiences, and themes that interpret, highlight, and support Vermont's agricultural traditions, experiences, and products;
iii.Natural heritage: tourism packages, experiences, and themes that interpret, highlight, and support Vermont's commitment to its natural environment;
iv.Four-season recreation: tourism packages, experiences, and themes that interpret, highlight, and support Vermont's year round indoor and outdoor recreational experiences; or
v.Vermont made products: tourism packages, experiences, and themes that highlight or include Vermont made, or Vermont value added, products.
4. Additional requirements to obtain and maintain a link.
In addition to those requirements set forth above, an entity must, as a condition of obtaining and maintaining a link:
a.Be registered with the Vermont Secretary of State to do business in the State of Vermont.
b.Not be in default in any of its obligations to the State of Vermont.
c.Not be the subject of a consumer fraud action or investigation by the State of Vermont or by the federal government.
d.Not be found to have violated any State or federal criminal law. An indictment or information of, or public hearing finding of criminal commission by, an entity, or its principle officers acting on behalf of that entity, may be considered a violation sufficient to justify the removal of a link.
e.Not be in default of any cooperative marketing agreement, grant agreement, or contract with VDTM.
f.Not be prohibited from conducting business due to a health or public safety violation.
g.Provide and maintain a reciprocal link to the Official Vermont Marketing Web Site.
5. Control of advertising and promotional campaigns.
VDTM shall control the artistic characteristics, visual qualities, and overall information presentation in its advertising and promotions campaigns, which include promotion via the Internet. Such control ensures that an effective Vermont brand message is presented. Promotional campaigns present businesses as an information reference only. And as with all State Marketing media applications, the State is not responsible for the particular character, content, or quality of any individual business listed on the Official Vermont Marketing Web Site. Nothing in this paragraph shall obligate VDTM to prepare material for the internet on behalf of any party, as control does not reference production.
6. Links with reservation components.
VDTM reserves the right to set parameters regarding links from the Official Vermont Marketing Web Site to sites that reserve lodgings for more than one property. VDTM may extend such links to all parties with such reservation booking components, who are described in paragraph 1, 2, or 3 and who qualify for a linkage pursuant to the provisions of this policy, so long as the terms and conditions imposed upon one party are similarly applied to all parties.
7. Alteration of policy.
VDTM reserves the right to amend this and all other promotion policies, as marketing conditions dictate. VDTM may also inform the Vermont Travel and Recreation Council, MAP, Statewide tourism support organizations, and/or the ACCD Regional Block Grant Program Partners of contemplated amendments to this, and all other, promotional policies.
8. Removal of links to the Official Vermont Marketing Web Site.
If VDTM, in its sole judgment, determines that any entity is in violation of any of the provisions of this policy or its site contains outdated or inaccurate information, VDTM reserves the right to remove the link to the Official Vermont Marketing Web Site immediately without notice.
Questions about links to this site may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.