The 2014 season is here and so are the tourists.
How important are their dollars?
The 2010 Global Insight Report on the Economic Impact of Tourism on the State of RI's Economy found that one of every 10 Rhode Islanders owes their job to tourism. The tourism industrycontributes millions to the city of Newport in property taxes and related fees. But is it working for Newport?
In an earlier email, I proposed that we have a conversation about the future of Newport’s tourism economy. Here are some of my ideas about how to have that conversation:
Marketing Rhode Island
I believe that our tourism industry is a building block of our economic development. While our state’s regional destination marketing organizations have been successful, there is more that can be done to showcase our state as a whole.
Strategic Marketing Analysis
I will examine the State’s marketing efforts, and its estimated $500,000 budget. If deemed strategic, I will propose investing more resources to promote our state’s assets to prospective visitors funded by a steady stream of funding. This could include developing a state brand.
Tourism Expenditure Review
I will review the tourism dollars spent in Newport and determine what share of these expenditures directly affect the City’s budget. True costs of tourism need to be assessed, including infrastructure wear and tear, police and fire department support, trash removal and other costs.
Allocation Formula Review
If costs are not covered by revenue, I propose convening stakeholders, state and municipal, to review of the allocation formula and state tax revenue-sharing policies.
Long Term Planning
I will initiate a conversation about formulating a long range plan for tourism within a larger comprehensive municipal or Aquidneck Island economic initiative. Let’s be focused and strategic about how we define our tourism brand to compliment our community and quality of life.