Kristen Adamo | President and CEO, Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau
1. You were promoted to president and CEO of the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau in late April. What are your goals? I am a big proponent of developing an overarching strategy and then working against that strategy to achieve goals. Right now, our senior leadership is developing a comprehensive business plan for [fiscal 2020], which will begin in July. One of the key objectives will be to promote Providence’s diverse and colorful neighborhoods to visitors who want to “live like a local,” which is the hot trend in our business.
2. Are there any marketing changes or new advertising campaigns planned? A top priority will be to leverage Providence’s national reputation as a culinary powerhouse to lift our national profile in other areas. I want to look at cities [such as] Charleston, S.C., which built a well-rounded, powerful brand on the strength of its food scene, and see how we can do that here.
3. What about the new growth in Providence and Warwick do you consider the most exciting? Hotel growth is occurring in new areas, such as extended-stay and boutique properties, which gives us a more diverse portfolio. At the airport, the Norwegian [Air Shuttle ASA] routes have given international visitation and the group-tour market a boost, while the increase in direct-air service domestically helps us attract more meetings and conventions.
4. Are Providence business owners working with you on ideas to attract diverse tourism? The primary reason that Providence’s leisure-tourism program has been so successful is because of the support of the local business, education, culinary, hospitality and creative communities. We host between 50 and 100 travel media … annually. We are constantly searching for fresh web and social media content and meeting with people to see how we can best collaborate.
5. What events booked by the PWCVB are you most proud of this year? One great booking … [is] the 2022 Varsity Spirit Festival Nationals, a cheerleading event that will use both the Dunkin’ Donuts Center and the R.I. Convention Center, with a direct-spend impact of $2 million. Another one is the American Homebrewers Association’s 2019 Homebrew Con, which is taking place June 27-29. About 3,000 people will attend and the direct-spend impact is estimated at $4.3 million.
Elizabeth Graham is a PBN staff writer. Contact her at Graham@PBN.com.