Rhode Island is an amazing place to visit. Think of how many guests you’ve entertained here who have been stunned at our gorgeous scenery, our incredible food, our exciting arts and culture. There’s a lot to love about Rhode Island, and there’s a team of talented people at the Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau (PWCVB), led by three dynamic women, whose job it is to get that message to the rest of the world.
“Our primary goal is to increase business for our membership by bringing meetings, conventions and sporting events to the area,” explains Christine Phillips, director of partnership development for the PWCVB. The team markets Providence and Warwick to large groups who have annual meetings and events: when those groups decide to meet in Providence, it means 10,000 people show up for a few days, fill our hotels, eat at our restaurants and bring in a lot of money to the area. “I love it when a member calls and tells me how busy they were due to a convention or sporting event that came in,” Christine says.
“The PWCVB celebrates its 20th anniversary this year,” says President and CEO Martha Sheridan, “and we want to educate the community on the importance of tourism and our agency’s efforts on the state’s economy and quality of life.” Right now, there’s a lot of national buzz about Providence’s food (which is a given), but also about its emerging fashion scene. The city has gone from being ‘the coolest little place you didn’t know about’ to being voted Travel + Leisure’s Best City in America in 2014, and a huge part of that has to do with this team getting our message out to the rest of the country. “One of the great things about promoting Providence is that there are always new stories to tell,” says Kristen Adamo, vice president of marketing and communication.
While the economic impact of tourism on the state is incredibly important –Governor Raimondo has identified boosting tourism as one of her main goals – the agency also does a lot to improve the quality of life for locals, too. “We also manage some great local initiatives like Providence Restaurant Weeks and the Federal Hill Stroll aimed at providing Rhode Islanders with some great local culinary activities,” Martha explains. “Most of the restaurants in Providence are small businesses,” Kristen says, “and I am proud that this program puts money in the pockets of these owners and their hardworking staffs. I love Providence and Warwick and consider it a privilege to promote all of the great people and places around here.”