Travel Trade

Tourism visitation grew 3% in 2007; expenditures up 2%

Travel and tourism is one of Rhode Island's most valued industries, ultimately generating more than $3.66 billion for the state's economy.

With more than 100 beaches, 400 miles of picture-perfect coastline, historical and cultural attractions, and world-class dining, it is no surprise that tourism and hospitality is Rhode Island's second-largest industry, supporting 80,526 jobs and nearly $7 billion in spending in 2007.

Download the latest Rhode Island Tourism Satellite Account research report, compiled by Global Insight.

The Rhode Island Advantage

Rhode Island may be small, but it packs a cultural and scenic punch. Within Rhode Island's borders is one of the largest concentrations of historic landmarks in the nation, a vibrant arts and cultural scene, miles of pristine coastline and some of the most acclaimed dining establishments in the country.

Providence is never more than a 30-minute drive from anywhere in the state - from the beaches of Narragansett to the City-by-the-Sea, Newport, to the farms and bucolic beauty of Northwestern Rhode Island.

Providence is becoming a hotspot for both business and leisure travelers with more than 2,200 moderately priced hotel rooms, the Providence Place Mall, the Rhode Island Convention Center and a rich theater and cultural scene.

Tools for Growth

The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation offers the travel and tourism industry access to an unparalleled array of natural resources and critical infrastructure:

  • Excellent highway, rail and airport service connectivity, including T.F. Green Airport
  • More than 100 beaches and 400 miles of shoreline
  • Narragansett Bay, the largest yachting center in New England
  • The largest concentration of historic landmarks in the United States
  • Rhode Island has become the second state to adopt the principles of geoturism - tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place

Rhode Island Tourism Division

The Rhode Island Tourism Division is the official state agency responsible for promoting domestic and international tourism to Rhode Island. It conducts a comprehensive marketing and communications effort focused on expanding the state's $5 billion tourism industry. Annual research is aimed at measuring consumer expenditures and the direct and indirect impact on the state's economy. The Tourism Division produces the state's official tourism guides and interactive Web site, manages the Rhode Island Welcome Center and the Rhode Island Building at the Eastern States Exposition, and is a vital resource for hospitality developers.

Fast Facts

  • Tourism is Rhode Island's second largest industry, supporting 70,179 jobs and $5 billion in spending in 2006.
  • Block Island, an 11-square-mile seaside resort located 12 miles off the Rhode Island coast, was named one of the last 12 great places in the Western Hemisphere by the Nature Conservancy.
  • No Rhode Islander has more than a 30-minute drive to the ocean or Narragansett Bay.
  • Rhode Island is home to the Pawtucket Red Sox, the AAA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, and the Boston Bruins' AHL squad, the Providence Bruins.
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