representative carson
Rep. Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport)
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The Special Legislative Commission to Study Methods for Growing Tourism in the State of Rhode Island Through Coordinated Branding and Marketing Efforts will meet Monday to discuss a variety of tourism efforts.

The meeting is scheduled Monday, Dec. 12, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Room 101 on the first floor of the State House.

On the agenda is Rhode Island Department of Transportation Chief Operating Officer Peter Garino, who will provide a report on the status of the development of a visitors’ center.

Rhode Island Commerce Corporation Chief Marketing Officer Lara Salamano will also report to the commission.

The commission’s work groups will update the rest of the commission on their progress. Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau President and CEO Martha Sheridan will report on behalf of the Research from Other State Structures Workgroup and Discover Newport President and CEO Evan Smith will report on behalf of the Metrics for Measurement Workgroup.

Finally, Commission Chairwoman Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport) will lead discussions on a proposal to create a permanent tourism commission, next steps and this commission’s final report.

No public testimony will be accepted at this meeting, although the meeting is open to the public and will be televised by Capitol Television, which can be seen on Channel 15 for Cox Communications and Full Channel subscribers, Channel 1013 for Cox HD customers, and Channel 34 for Verizon viewers. It will also be live streamed at

The commission was organized to study Rhode Island’s tourism industry and make recommendations for cultivating it through statewide coordinated branding and marketing efforts. It is currently working to review the distribution of the hotel tax; to examine other state tourism promotion organizational structures in order to recommend a stable and effective organizational home for statewide tourism efforts; and to design and recommend a metric system for measuring the impact and the return on investment on state tourism and marketing dollars. It is also receiving regular reports from the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, which receives a share of the hotel tax for marketing and branding, and reviewing its campaigns, expenditures and the return on dollars spent.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.

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