The Special Legislative Commission to Study Methods for Growing Tourism in the State of Rhode Island Through Coordinated Branding and Marketing Efforts will meet Friday at the Old Colony House in Newport.

The meeting, open to the public, is scheduled Friday, July 15, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Old Colony House, which is located in Washington Square in downtown Newport.

At this meeting, commission members will meet the new Rhode Island Commerce Corporation Chief Marketing Officer, Lara Salamano, receive an update from the Commerce Corporation on the statewide tourism campaign and learn about the Old Colony House. Ruth Taylor of the Newport Historical Society will give a presentation about the building, which was the meeting place of Rhode Island’s colonial legislature and was one of the buildings where the state legislature met until the construction of the current State House in 1901.

Led by Rep. Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport), the commission was organized to study Rhode Island’s tourism industry and make recommendations for cultivating it through statewide coordinated branding and marketing efforts. The goals of the commission for the remainder of this year have been expanded by the House to include a review of the distribution of the hotel tax, to explore a new framework for statewide management of tourism and to design ways to measure the results of our statewide marketing strategy.

“I am bringing my next study commission meeting to Newport because tourism is the lifeblood of our economy and because citizens’ participation in state government matters,” Representative Carson said. “A smart and sustainable tourism industry is vital to Newport, our small businesses and our local economy, and I invite all those who are interested in the way it’s presented to potential visitors.”

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.