New effort to reboot RI’s tourism campaign asks for residents’ input

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After the not so well-received launch of Rhode Island’s new tourism campaign “Cooler and Warmer,” the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation is going back to the beginning when it comes to their efforts to attract tourists and businesses to the Ocean State.

And this time, they said residents’ voices will be heard.

A new pop-up store is expected to open Thursday night and will serve as the public brainstorming headquarters. The corporation is calling the space located at 250 Westminster Street in Providence the “Make It Yours” story studio.

“Through this effort, Rhode Islanders will be able to share stories, images, and suggestions about this state’s culture, history and beauty. These authentic contributions will help inform, infuse, and inspire our marketing campaign going forward. In doing so, they will make our campaign more effective — attracting more visitors to Rhode Island and, ultimately, creating more jobs for Rhode Islanders,” R.I. Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor said.

This is all part of the Commerce Corporation’s effort to reboot its new $5 million tourism and business attraction campaign.

The pop-up store will remain open to the public through May 6. After that, it will be relocated to the state’s local tourism bureaus for the next month.

“The idea is we want to help tell the story of Rhode Island from Rhode Islanders,” said Seth Goldenberg, Chief Creative Officer of the tourism campaign. “No one knows Rhode Island like Rhode Islanders.”

Rhode Island residents are asked to share their ideas at the store or on social media, using #MyRIStory. The best work may be incorporated into the state’s advertising campaign.

“The ‘MIY’ program is an unprecedented commitment to understand our state’s DNA in order to shape our tourism story. When I have shared the news of the program with my community here in the Blackstone Valley they are excited and want to be involved,” said Bob Billington, President of Blackstone Valley Tourism Council.

An opening reception of the pop-up store will be held from 5 8 p.m. Thursday. The studio will be open 7 days a week for the next month, with presentations and workshops.

Inside the store, people can map their favorite Rhody spots, take photos using the logo frames or even share a favorite Rhode Island story in the photo booth.

“I feel good about the possibilities of this next phase of work to communicate the many positive things that are happening here,” John Caserta of The Design Office and RISD said.

Admission is free and no tickets are required for entry.

A full calendar of events has not yet been released.

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