With students returning to school and pumpkin spice flavor reappearing in everything from cookies to cappuccino, Labor Day weekend has long marked the proverbial end of summer, but in Newport, Rhode Island, and many of its neighboring coastal communities, the busiest travel time of the year continues, according to Discover Newport.

“Labor Day weekend marks a shifting of gears, so to speak, but let me be clear: our destination does not see a decline in visitors this time of year. Instead, we simply welcome different demographics,” says Evan Smith, President & CEO of Discover Newport in a press release on Friday. “As fall approaches, we see our highest concentration of international travelers. We welcome hundreds of motor coaches – sometimes more than 60 a day – with travelers eager to experience our attractions, restaurants, shops and most especially, New England’s famed fall foliage. We’ll be welcoming 50 cruise ships from now through early November, our event venues collectively host dozens of weddings weekly, and we have a robust event schedule which welcomes thousands of visitors including the Newport International Boat Show, the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival, the Norman Bird Sanctuary Harvest Fair, the Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival, Newport Restaurant Week and many more.”

Fall is also the busiest time for meetings and small conventions in Newport. “Historically, our convention-style hotels see a transition from predominantly leisure travelers to meeting and convention delegates after Labor Day weekend, though they host both demographics throughout the year,” says Tim Walsh, Vice President of Sales for Discover Newport in the release. “We’re looking forward a busy autumn calendar full of corporate, government and association meetings in addition to wedding and group business.”

Reflecting on lodging data from the past six months, Smith says it’s been a successful year thus far for the destination. Year-to-date, lodging revenue in Newport is up 9.4% and surrounding Newport County is up 3.3%, according to STR (formerly known as Smith Travel Research). “These are undeniably positive indicators and notably, they do not include AirBnB and other short-term rental stays which account for about 15% of the local lodging marketplace,” adds Smith. “All signs are pointing towards a prosperous year as we wrap up third quarter, though we’re mindful of possible disruptors like weather events and unforeseen impacts to the economy. With consumer confidence up, we’re cautiously optimistic that robust travel will round out the year here on the Classic Coast.”

(Photo: Bowen’s Wharf will host a variety of events throughout the next few months. Photo courtesy of Bowen’s Wharf.)

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore 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 previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

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

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.