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This article was posted on: The Westerly Sun
PROVIDENCE — The Rhode Island House has approved a resolution to form a special legislative commission dedicated to fostering the growth of the state’s tourism industry.
The creation of this panel comes on the heels of a previous special commission that recently wrapped up two years of work focused on improving statewide promotion of the tourism industry.
“Our discussions on the promotion of tourism in Rhode Island over the last couple of years have shed light upon a lot of possibilities that could better serve our state and our industry,” said Rep. Lauren H. Carson, D-Newport, the bill’s sponsor, who chaired the previous commission.
“We should be re-examining how we allocate the hotel tax, for example, to make sure it reflects our tourism growth goals, and we should be carefully and frequently measuring and evaluating our tourism promotion efforts so we know whether they are effective. This commission will continue the work we began two years ago, but with a more pointed focus on creating the most effective structures for the state’s efforts,” Carson said.
The legislation (2017-H 6278A), which does not require Senate approval, creates a 19-member special House commission that includes six members of the House; the director of the state Department of Revenue; the president of the Rhode Island Hospitality Association; the leaders of the Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau, Discover Newport, tourism councils for Providence, Block Island, South County, the Blackstone Valley, and the Warwick Department of Tourism; one representative of private-sector tourism each from Providence, South County and Newport; and the board chairperson of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation.
The commission will examine policies to enhance a
coordinated tourism and visitor industry; evaluate tourism management
and oversight; explore the economic impact of environmental quality on
the tourism industry; and develop a “unified metrics framework for the
state and local regions to make evaluations for all future state
government tourism investments.”
The commission will also re-evaluating the formula used for the distribution of the hotel and lodging tax, and study the impact of international tourism on Rhode Island’s tourism economy.
The commission is to report to the House on its efforts by Jan. 5, 2019.
Other sponsors of the legislation were Reps. Kathleen A. Fogarty, D-South Kingstown, Kenneth A. Marshall, D- Bristol, Blake A. Filippi, R-Block Island, Robert J. Quattrocchi, R-Scituate.