The Special Legislative Commission to Study Methods for Growing Tourism in the State of Rhode Island Through Coordinated Branding and Marketing Efforts, which is led by Representative Lauren Carson (D. District 75, Newport) will meet Friday, February 3 at 10 a.m. at the Mary Brennan Board Room of T.F. Green Airport to discuss a variety of tourism efforts.

Rep. Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport)

The meeting’s agenda includes:

·         Welcome from T.F. Green Airport – Iftikhar Ahmad, ‎ President and CEO of Rhode Island Airport Corporation

·         Report from the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation – Lara Salamano, Chief Marketing Officer, Rhode Island Commerce Corporation

·         Report on Metrics and Proposal for Final Report from Metrics Workgroup – Evan Smith, President and CEO of Discover Newport

·         Remarks by Chairwoman Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport) regarding Structural Materials, Martha Sheridan’s binder of research, timeline of commission, the passing of the resolution to extend the dates, and final goals of the commission

·         Announcement of upcoming meeting dates (March 10, 2017, April 7, 2017, and May 5, 2017) and discussion of Travel Oregon/Oregon Travel Commission upcoming presentation by Scott West, Chief Strategy Officer

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 has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).