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10/2/2015 New commission to study R.I. tourism marketing
STATE HOUSE – As a result of legislation sponsored by Rep. Lauren A. Carson, a new legislative commission is forming to study Rhode Island’s tourism industry and make recommendations for cultivating it through coordinated branding and marketing efforts.

“Rhode Island needs an overarching state brand and marketing initiative to successfully promote the state to tourists throughout the region, the country and the world. We need to look at the things that we’re doing that are working, identify ways to use our marketing resources more effectively and work collaboratively to be more aggressive in getting the word out to tourists, day-trippers and convention organizers that Rhode Island has exactly what they’re looking for,” said Representative Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport), who sponsored the legislation (2015-H 6306A) creating the commission. “While this is necessary for growing our tourism sector, it also has the wider effect of projecting to the world that Rhode Island is ready and open for business.”

The commission, which will have its first meeting Thursday, Oct. 8 at 2 p.m. in Room 101 in the State House.  has been asked to perform a comprehensive analysis of best-practice methods used to expand tourism on both a regional and national level, to gather information on the current collaborative practices of the state’s multiple tourism councils, to analyze  reports provided semi-annually by the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, and to make recommendations to the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation that would enable it to develop more informed and coordinated decision-making efforts regarding the development of branding and marketing of tourism in Rhode Island.

Besides Representative Carson, the 14-member commission will include Rep. Kenneth A. Marshall (D-Dist. 68, Bristol, Warren), Rep. John M. Carnevale (D-Dist. 13, Providence, Johnston), Rep. Blake A. Filippi (I-Dist. 36, New Shoreham, Charlestown, Westerly, South Kingstown), Rep. Daniel P. Reilly (R-Dist. 72, Portsmouth, Middletown), South County Tourism Council President Myrna George, Block Island Tourism Council Executive Director Jessica Willi, Warwick Department of Tourism, Culture and Development Director Karen Jedson, Providence Tourism Council Chairman Eric Churchill, Blackstone Valley Tourism Council Chairman Robert Billington, Greater Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Martha Sheridan, Discover Newport President Evan Smith, Patti Doyle of Patti Doyle Communications and Jon Duffy of the advertising, public relations and marketing firm Duffy & Shanley.

For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-1923