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BIG DRAW: The Ocean Race is coming back to Newport for a week in May. More than 100,000 people visited the race village in Newport in 2015, pictured above, and again in 2018. 
COURTESY OCEAN RACE/MARC BOW

With recession looming, think big on tourism

This is a big year for Rhode Island tourism, starting with the impending release of the first major statewide campaign since 2017. Rhode Island tourism...
EMPTY FEELING: Kristen Adamo, CEO and president of the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau, stands in the barren lobby at the Crown Plaza Providence-Warwick in Warwick in March 2020, after the COVID-19 pandemic caused a massive amount of canceled trips. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

R.I. branding has been hit or miss

TOURISM When R.I. Commerce Corp. decided to hire a chief marketing officer in late 2015, it made sense – bring in a person to guide...
PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY

Five Questions With Heather Evans

Heather Evans | Chief marketing officer, R.I. Commerce Corp. 1. What is your first priority in your new job? To listen and learn. ...
DRAMATIC CHANGE: Tom McGinn, captain and president, and Kristin Stone are co-owners of Providence Riverboat. After the company joined the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau, it shifted its business model from cocktail cruises to catering to the tourism industry and nearly tripled its revenue in the first year, Stone said.
 / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Tourism: In search of coordination

The Providence Riverboat Co. once served primarily local customers. Its boats would take groups out on the Providence River for cocktail cruises, leaving from...
THE R.I. COMMERCE CORP. launched a new tourism marketing campaign in November touting Rhode Island as "Fun-Sized." / COURTESY R.I. COMMERCE CORP.

Do you like Commerce RI’s less centralized plan for marketing Rhode...

Unlike the much-ballyhooed and then immediately much-criticized “Cooler & Warmer” state tourism campaign, the R.I. Commerce Corp. has adopted a more understated approach to...
SELLING R.I.: Jesse Saglio, right, the new president and chief operating officer of R.I. Commerce Corp. at a recent public meeting of the agency’s board. He says Commerce will step up its focus on helping local and small businesses this year. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

New Commerce RI President Jesse Saglio promises ‘more of the same’...

Since October 2015, Jesse Saglio, 46, has been a key behind-the-scenes player at R.I. Commerce Corp., most recently serving as managing director and head...
THE R.I. COMMERCE CORP. launched a new tourism marketing campaign in November touting Rhode Island as "Fun-Sized." / COURTESY R.I. COMMERCE CORP.

Commerce drops broad tourism message for ‘Fun-Sized’ offerings

PROVIDENCE – There will be no successor to the much-criticized 2016 “Cooler & Warmer” state tourism campaign, R.I. Commerce Corp. Chief Marketing Officer Lara...
POPULAR RACE: Boats skim the water during the Team Vestas Wind In-Port Race in Newport at the Volvo Ocean Race in May 2015. The race contributes to making Newport an attractive touring destination.   / COURTESY VOLVO OCEAN RACE/AINHOA SANCHEZ

Eighteen months after the ‘Cooler & Warmer’ debacle, does R.I....

When Portsmouth-based Rail Explorers USA, which offers unusual tours on recumbent bicycles along abandoned rail lines, got some national press in late July, business...
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