|What We Do|
From time to time it is important to reacquaint our public with who we are and our mission. Since its inception 25 years ago, the South County Tourism Council (SCTC) has represented the regional communities of Charlestown, Coventry, East Greenwich, Exeter, Hopkinton, Narragansett, North Kingstown, Richmond, South Kingstown, West Greenwich, and Westerly as a unique tourist destination.
SCTC functions as the official sales and marketing organization for
the South County Tourism Region, the 449 square mile portion of the State of Rhode Island as set forth in State Law and with the professionalism and research necessary to be effective as evidenced by our continual market growth.
Our mission is to plan, promote and market tourism beyond our 11-town region. We identify our target tourism market, and develop marketing campaigns that attract visitors from outside Rhode Island to our area.
We are guided by a Board of Directors which consists of 22 members - two from each of our 11 towns, and is comprised of representatives impacted by the tourism sector. Serving three-year terms, they may be reconsidered for subsequent terms. The primary responsibilities of the board are fiduciary, legal and ethical. A nominating committee of five board members seeks emerging leadership from within our 11 communities.
The President/Chief Executive Officer administers and manages the operations of the organization, and is directly responsible to the Executive Committee. He/she manages and directs all functions of the Council, and staff meetings of the Board and its committees.
Rhode Island's regional tourism bureaus share in the Occupancy Tax charged to hotels and bed & breakfasts with three rooms or more.
During the past 25 years the SCTC has utilized its portion of the hotel tax revenue to grow "South County" as a brand through innovative and creative marketing initiatives. The SCTC reports its return on investment of hotel tax dollars (Personnel Costs 38%, Operating Expenses 62%) directly to the Governor's Budget Office as well as the chairs of House and Senate & Finance Committees.
To maximize these marketing investments, we have brought creative control for South County Style Vacation Planner directly into the offices of the Council. While our staff levels have diminished, and salaries remain at 2004 levels, we produce an award-winning annual vacation planner, a South County map, host an annual bridal show, maintain a website with weekly event updates as well as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter pages, participate in trade shows and are the official tourism voice to travel writers and trade publications.
The South County Tourism Council Board of Directors further clarified in a recent resolution the following:
"Be it resolved that while South County Tourism Council appreciates input from any and all organizations, government or otherwise, it retains its authority over the work that it produces. The Council further recognizes that its mission, while it often complements the missions of local chambers of commerce, government bodies and other organizations, it is distinct in its charge of attracting visitors from outside the area into South County attractions and businesses.
"It is the South County Tourism Council's desire to work compatibly with all organizations within its territorial jurisdiction, but not to surrender its autonomy over its work and mission.
"South County Tourism Council also recognizes the distinct missions of the local chambers of commerce, government authorities and other entities, and resolves not to interfere or attempt to dictate its positions upon those local entities.
"Working with mutual respect, South County Tourism Council, the chambers and other entities can achieve an overall mission of presenting South County as a desirable destination for travelers from outside the area, as well as within Rhode Island, supporting the objectives of the local chambers to promote businesses within their communities."
Tourism has a direct, economic benefit to each and every South County property owner. If it were not for South County Tourism Council's targeted marketing programs, each property owner in South County would pay $1,349.00 more a year in property taxes.
ESTO - Educational Seminars for Tourism Organizations was held this year in North Carolina and attended by SCTC President Myrna George. This conference is exclusively designed to provide tourism leaders from throughout the country with the latest in educational forums, trends and best practices. Some of the new tools of the trade for 2010 include:
Know your market.
Tourism is no longer a luxury, it is therapy.
Include a logo on everything your group produces.
Make a human connection.
Strive to get talked about.
Create a cult following and utilize the latest technology and social media.
Define what is unique about your destination.
|2011 South County Vacation Planner|
With the glow of this summer's glorious sunshine still in our memories, we are already looking forward to 2011 and our next edition of South County Style Vacation Planner. Our pages include photos of South County's naturally beautiful places, as well as many resources to make any vacation in South County memorable.
Reserve your advertising space now. For more information about the 2011 South County Style Vacation Planner
, contact Diane Patefield, marketing director, at 401-789-4422 or firstname.lastname@example.org
|2011 South County Bridal Show|
We are putting the final touches on the 4th Annual South County Bridal Show, set for Sunday, January 16 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Historic Towers in Narragansett.
The simple elegance of a South County wedding is highlighted at this event: the fairy tale settings, natural beauty, and the romance of the ocean. The gorgeous presentations by vendors from Westerly to East Greenwich woo the brides and grooms as they envision their perfect wedding day.
Lighthouse Publications, formerly Schryver Publications', Southern New England Weddings has partnered with the South County Tourism Council for the past four years to create an intimate atmosphere for brides to meet personally with vendors exclusively from South County.
The South County Bridal Show has been described as the best bridal show, a true jewel in the crown of South County. As a complement to the bridal show, SCTC is putting the finishing touches on its new web site, SouthCountyWeddings.com featuring the best of South County bridal vendors to be unveiled at the South County Bridal Show.
If you are planning a wedding, mark your calendar for Sunday, January 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Call 401-789-4422 or visit SouthCountyRI.com/Weddings to pre-register.
|9th Annual South County Photo Contest|
We know South County is picturesque and our local photographers proved it once again, submitting over 300 images to the 9th Annual South County Tourism Council Photo Contest.
The photos reflect the many facets of South County, from the beaches, to the wildlife preserves and the people who love to live in and visit the area. Ray Clayton, a local photographer with a long history at several area newspapers, judged the competition.
The winners were announced Thursday, Aug. 19 at a wine and cheese reception held at the Courthouse Center for the Arts.
Matt Johnston, an amateur photographer from Narragansett, won with a distinctive fish-eye photo of the Gilbert Stuart House in North Kingstown.
Second Place was captured by Eric Wertheimer, third by Evan Pagano. Over $1,000 in prize money was awarded to the top photographers.
Honorable mentions were also awarded to Matthew Johnston, Ingrid Matthews, William Hawley, Stephen Wood and Judi Wood.
|You "Like" Us!|
Social Media is the new buzzword on reaching customers, friends, family, and beyond. Facebook is front and center on the social media trend, as a way to provide a more personal relationship on the internet. During the course of the summer of 2010, the South County Tourism Council has gained over 400 people who "Like" our page and regularly respond to our postings about local events, giving us over 4,000 fans! According to research by Syncapse, the value of a Facebook fan is approximately $136 a year.
|The Big E|
Thanks to all of you for providing the much needed brochures for this year's BIG E! The Fair was a huge success with 1,228,418 people attending - the third largest attendance in the 94 year history of the BIG E! We are very pleased with the attention Rhode Island got this year. People flocked into the Rhode Island Pavilion to gather information on things to do and see in South County, Rhode Island.
Other than the two "knee deep in water" rainy days we had, the Fair drew between 40,000 and 158,000 people each day. That is a lot of traffic! We ran out of just about everything again this year. A big thank you, to Big E organizer extraordinaire Jayne Panarello of the State Division of Tourism, as well as to South County Tourism Council Marketing Assistant Nick DeRobbio who thoroughly enjoyed his first Rhode Island Day at the Big E and found it to be VERY EXCITING!
|A Visit from Yankee Magazine|
President Myrna George at the 75th anniversary celebration of Yankee Magazine
The Yankee Moseyer moseyed on down to South County recently to chat with Carol Dugan of Saunderstown, and wrote about their South County travels in the November edition of Yankee Magazine. "Because she knows everybody and everything going on in Rhode Island, she's the person we call upon when we feel the urge to mosey into her world along the Bay."
Dugan treated her visitors to an insider's tour of the former Girl Scout camp, Camp Nokewa, on Carr Pond in North Kingstown and the Plum Beach neighborhood, including the beach clubhouse. "The little coastal community of Plum Beach is an absolute heaven for young children."
Read more about Camp Nokewa and Carol Duggan in the November 2010 edition of Yankee Magazine.
Free Brochure Space
The Stedman Government Center has become a beehive of activity over the past few months. The Registry of Motor Vehicles is now open four days a week, bringing a steady stream of people to our offices. While waiting their turn, these visitors often peruse the brochures in our front rack. You are invited to take advantage of this captive audience by dropping off your brochures at our office. We will be happy to display them on our front rack at no charge.
Rave reviews from our visitors
- "South County is a wonderful area to visit. The scenery is beautiful whether it be historic vistas, homes or beaches. The traditional New England fare along with Rhode Island specialities is a real treat."
- "We love South County. Would someday like to retire there in our own beach house. The area is beautiful, easy to get to and not extremely congested."
- "We just love walking the beaches looking for small shells, beach glass, sand dollars as well as shopping, looking at/for lighthouses, historic sites, and of course shopping."
- "Our visits to South County are always wonderful. We have done day trips to the beautiful Westerly beaches. It was a beautiful weekend, weather-wise."
- "South County is a refreshing and wonderful area worth experiencing."
- "As a family we look for small towns with interesting places to visit, great unique restaurants. LOVE Crazy Burger in Narragansett, Seafood Haven in Westerly - can't wait to try Matunuck Oyster Farm. Love to see live theater - especially at Theatre By The Sea."
- "The best beaches in the country are in South County, RI. East Beach in Charlestown . . . stunning."