Rhode Island Tourism Industry

Economic Impact

  • Rhode Island hosted 21.6 million visitors in 2020. A 17.5% decline over the prior year. The share of day visitors increased, as did those coming for leisure purposes. A national trend, international inbound travel was severely restricted in 2020, and significant declines were felt across the county both in terms of visitation and spending.

  • The total traveler economy declined 30.6% in 2020, registering $4.9 billion. This includes visitor spending, tourism-related construction, and supporting industries.

  • The traveler economy supported 66,402 jobs, including direct, indirect, and induced impacts.

  • This represents 11.1% of all jobs in Rhode Island or 1 in 9 jobs.

  • Direct visitor industry employment registered 28,412 in 2020, declining 27.8% from the prior year.

  • Tourism in Rhode Island generated $1.3 billion in tax revenues in 2020, with $597 million accruing to state and local governments.


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