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2010-11 Winter Newsletter

In This Issue:
Ensuring South County Visitors Ease of Travel
2011 South County Bridal Show Ready for the Aisle
Holiday Luncheon
Winter Magic
The Best of The Best
AAA Finds Strong Holiday Spirit in South County Photo Contest
RI Heritage Hall of Fame Inducts Two South County Notables
Historical Tourism in Rhode Island
Rave Reviews

Ensuring South County Visitors Ease of Travel

SC Mobile appVacation is the time to get away from it all. But what could be more convenient than making dinner plans from the beach? For those who prefer to plan their travels on their smartphones, we have an app for that! Starting in 2011 you can visit SouthCountymobile on your smartphone and plan your day, from beach time to dinner time and beyond with our new mobile app.

Our reach into cyberspace also includes some long-term planning with our soon-to-be-launched wedding website:

It contains links to South County wedding vendors, highlighting the simple elegance of a South County wedding from the fairy tale settings, natural beauty and romance of the ocean. It provides brides with year-round access to local vendors and venues to make their day memorable.

We have also developed a QR tag to simplify visits to South County in cyberspace. Scan the tag with a smartphone and it will bring you straight to our mobile app. Check events listings, find a bike path, boat launch or kayak put in, or a new place to enjoy a great meal.

SCTC QR codeWe are marketing our latest developments with a print advertising campaign that will reach across the United States and be seen by approximately 10 million readers.

Whatever device you use, visit us on the web at:

For more information, and to advertise on the app, contact Diane Patefield at 401-789-4422.

2011 South County Bridal Show Ready for the Aisle

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.

2011 Bridal Show photo

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. Delectable wedding fare, luscious cakes and aromatic blooms by vendors from Westerly to East Greenwich woo the brides and grooms as they envision their perfect wedding day.

Southern New England Weddings has partnered with the South County Tourism Council for the past three 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.

SCTC has also launched a wedding website to provide brides with year-round access to local vendors and venues.

If you are planning a wedding, mark your calendar for Sunday, January 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Holiday Luncheon
The South County Tourism Council hosted its annual Holiday Luncheon Tuesday, Dec. 14 at the Historic Towers in Narragansett.

The SCTC staff was joined by members of the RI Division of Tourism, local business owners and local chamber officers for a delicious luncheon buffet by West Bay Gourmet.

Advantage Marketing presented the results of its survey of people who requested information from South County Tourism Council and the Rhode Island Division of Tourism.

We South County-ites love our quirky, quaint towns. And, so do visitors who return year after year. Advantage Marketing determined that our visitors specifically come to South County, visit often and have a high level of education.

Of those people seeking information on South County, 86 percent will visit South County, including new visitors and repeat visitors. While most plan to visit South County in July and August, the overwhelming majority, 22 percent, plan to visit multiple times. Nearly 70 percent of the survey respondents have already visited South County two or more times.

"This is viewed as significant," the study says. "Work produced by the Tourism Council and funded with room tax and partner dollars can and does influence people to come to South County. This implies that if these efforts were not being made, tourism dollars could be lost to other destinations. "

The main attractions, of course, are South County's beautiful beaches. Nearly 80 percent of respondents ranked the beaches as critical or very important in their selection of South County as their vacation destination. Sightseeing and restaurants also ranked highly in important activities.

Most potential visitors plan to drive to South County, coming from Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York.

People who answered the survey ranked the SCTC website highly, 35 percent remembered visiting the website, versus 19 percent who recalled the RI Division of Tourism website.

"Websites visited is of special note as SC Tourism had the highest recalled website use by a significant margin, even higher than RI Tourism - the original source of contact," the survey noted. "Information created by the Tourism Council reinforces positive memories associated with these experiences and provides new information, persuasively influencing tourists to return."

 Also during the luncheon, Bob Martinelli, an Endless Referrals Consultant, gave a presentation on "The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success."

The Five Laws are: The Law of Value; The Law of Compensation; The Law of Influence: The Law of Authenticity and The Law of Receptivity.

Bob discussed how to create better business relationships to gain more business and referrals using the Five Laws. The laws emphasize that business's best asset is its people and their relationships with others.


Congratulations to Frank Prosnitz, South County Tourism Council's Treasurer for his election as President of the Public Relations Society of America, Southeastern New England Chapter.

The Southeastern New England Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA/SENE) is a professional association, founded and established in 1982. Its mission is to advance and support public relations interests throughout Southeastern New England.

Winter Magic

The South County coast is beautiful no matter what the weather.  A snow-sprinkled Point Judith Lighthouse is the cover shot of  

thePoint Judith Lighthouse December issue of Rhode Island Monthly.  The issue spotlights winter coastal images throughout the state taken by photographer Paul Rezendes.

"Crumbling ice, frosty salt spray, mirror cold skies - photographer Paul Rezendes captures them all for us in beautiful and memorable ways. His compelling images even have us enamored with winter," reads the introduction to the photo essay.

Chill-inducing scenes feature several South County locales, including Roger W. Wheeler Beach, a fleet of quahog boats from Greenwich Cove and an icy Salt Pond in the Ninigret Conservation Area.


The Best of the Best

Congratulations to three South County restaurant employees! They were among the Best of the Hospitality Community recognized by the Rhode Island Hospitality Association.

Lynn Garvey of the Coast Guard House, Michael F. Healey of the Mariner Grill and Amanda Marcello of Eleven Forty-Nine Restaurant were all honored as Restaurant Employees of the Year.

These employees were recognized for their dedication and commitment to their respective restaurants and ensuring that all their customers have a positive experience.

The Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner was held Dec. 1, 2010 at the RI Convention Center.

State Representative Patricia Serpa, whose district includes Coventry, was recognized as a Hospitality Ambassador of the Year. She is a High School Improvement Liaison at Johnson & Wales University's Hospitality College.

As the official trade group of the foodservice, lodging, restaurant, and tourism industries, the mission of the Rhode Island Hospitality Association is to advocate for and to develop and provide programs, services, support and education to members of the hospitality industry.

AAA Finds Strong Holiday Spirit in South County

The holiday spirit is strong in South County, according to AAA Horizons In Your Backyard section of the December 2010 edition. Wickford's Festival of Lights and the winter star gazing at Frosty Drew Observatory were highlighted as ways to celebrate the holiday spirit.Wickford carolers

"Boasting some of the best shopping in South County, Wickford Village is a favorite Rhode Island destination for every season, but its quaint historic character is enhanced when the streets and shops are decked in their holiday finest," the article explained, listing the many events, concerts and performances during the weekend.

"Wickford Village's offering to the community captures the essence of the holiday spirit as it was before the advent of packed parking lots. Bring the whole family, and experience the heartfelt sparkle of an Old New England Holiday."

Frosty Drew Observatory offers star-gazers a chance to look at the wintry night sky through a powerful telescope on Friday evenings. There are no dancers or singers here, the sparkling sky speaks for itself.

RI Heritage Hall of Fame Inducts 

Two South County Notables

Two historic South County figures were inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame this fall: Caroline Hazard and Owen Wister.

Caroline Hazard (1856-1945) was a native of South County, and her family name is still well known in the area. She served as president of Wellesley College, despite having no formal college degree.

Under her tutelage, Wellesley College regained financial stability and a number of buildings were constructed, including dormitories and the library. She was a tireless fundraiser and often supported the college's efforts from her own considerable family fortune.

After her retirement, Hazard wrote extensively on the history of South County and her family.

The second inductee, Owen Wister (1860-1938), summered in Saunderstown, but is more closely associated with the Wild West than South County.

A native of Pennsylvania and close friend of President Theodore Roosevelt, Wister was a prolific writer, best known for 1902 novel, The Virginian, which is largely regarded as the first of the "cowboy" genre. The novel inspired five movies and a television series.

 Hazard and Wister were inducted during a ceremony in Nov. 21, 2010 during the 14th Annual Historical Induction Convocation, along with nine other Rhode Islanders who lived between 1800 and 1920.

Historical Tourism in Rhode Island
The past is a popular place to visit. Tourism agencies in Rhode Island are discovering the benefits of promoting our past, specifically historical sites and homes. Known as cultural-heritage tourism, it attracts older, more educated and affluent travelers.

The Providence Business News published an article regarding cultural and historical tourism in the Nov. 29-Dec. 5 edition.

South County Tourism Council President Myrna George noted that South County has many cultural and historically important sites within its borders, including Smith's Castle, Gilbert Stuart Birthplace and the General Nathanael Greene homestead, to name a few.

"People travel to discover the authentic, unspoiled spaces and they look to experience life, not only as it once was, but also as it is now," George said.

The seeds of cultural-heritage tourism have already been planted in South County's rich soil. As part of Tour Rhode Island, one of the South County components is promoted as "South County, where Nature Meets History."

In early May, Ann Lessman, Tim Cranston and Jim Rugh guided visitors around well-known historical sites of South County, including the Nathanael Greene Homestead, Babcock-Smith House, Langworthy Farm, South County Museum, Gilbert Stuart Museum, Smith's Castle, Carpenter's Grist Mill, Seabee Museum and the Quonset Air Museum. 

Set in South County's rural atmosphere, our historical sites have the unique ability to impart the true historical flavor to our visitors.


Survey says:

  • Advantage Marketing conducted an e-mail survey this summer of potential visitors seeking information about South County. The survey revealed: 


  • The marketing efforts of South County Tourism Council reach an audience that will visit South County, visits often and is well educated.
  • Just over 86 percent of people seeking information about South County visted the area, including new visitors and repeat visitors.
  • South County visitors are loyal, with 69.1% visiting the area two times or more.
  • Tourism information from the South County Tourism Council was used decide among potential destinations over 58% of the time, as well as used to identify activities.
  • Over 75% of respondents said the beaches were critical or very important to their decision to visit. Nearly as many identified sightseeing as critical or very important.
  • South County visitors are well educated. Nearly 35% are college graduates and over 28% have completed post-college work.

New Winter Home Page

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South County Style Vacation Planner


2010 Annual Report

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