Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo says Rhode Island needs to do a better job of developing tourism as a spark plug for the economy. Raimondo unveiled a tourism plan Wednesday morning as part of her campaign for the state’s top job.
Although tourism is among the state’s top industries, Raimondo said Rhode Island is squandering an opportunity to lure even more tourism dollars. She said Rhode Island spends far less than other states to promote itself, and that tourism promotion efforts spread among different organizations are too disjointed, while a more coordinated approach would boost the economy.
“If we think strategically about ways to market our state and bring in new investors, it could create about 5,000 new jobs in the next five years,” said Raimondo, “5,000 new jobs to a state that’s struggling with the highest unemployment rate in the country.”
Raimondo’s plain includes targeted marketing and advertising, raising Rhode Island’s profile as a food destination, and supporting workforce development for tourism jobs. She said her ideas could be paid for without increasing spending, although she declined to say whether tourism efforts should be coordinated by a single agency or office.
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