Consultant: RI could tap into tourism's potential with better marketing

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A consultant says Rhode Island's tourism industry is losing market share to states that do a better job promoting themselves.

Mitch Nichols says the Ocean State has great attractions, but is getting out-marketed by Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire. The Arizona-based consultant was hired by the state Economic Development Corporation.

Nichols says the state could more than triple its return in tax revenue with each additional million dollars spent on marketing tourism. He recommends creating a tourism advisory council to better coordinate marketing efforts.

That drew a skeptical reaction from EDC board member and Collette Vacations CEO Daniel Sullivan. He says Rhode Island needs to end an approach in which about seven different groups promote tourism with separate messages.

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