2014 Spring/Summer Industry Newsletter
Charlestown - Coventry - East Greenwich - Exeter - Hopkinton - Narragansett -
North Kingstown - Richmond - South Kingstown - West Greenwich - Westerly
In This Issue:
A Jack of All Rooms
Great Media Coverage and Editorials
New South County Businesses
Celebrate South County Day
New Faces at SCTC
SCTC Invests in Free Service for Hotels
Hello Lodgers,


The South County Tourism Council is excited to partner with JackRabbit Systems Book Direct, an exciting new booking solution that allows visitors of SouthCountyRI.com to search for lodging by travel dates, immediately view the lowest available rates and availability, refine the lodging list using easy-to-use sorting and filtering mechanisms, and finally book directly with your online reservation system.


Here is a brief list of the features and benefits of Book Direct, as setup on SouthCountyRI.com:

  • Book Direct combines the visitor (user experience) functionality of a booking engine, aligning with consumer preferences to book direct with your facility.
  • Based on The South County Tourism Council investment in Book Direct, there are no commissions or fees charged by JackRabbit for room reservations as facilitated by Book Direct through SouthCountyRI.com.
  • There is no additional inventory management because Book Direct automatically pulls rates and availability and facilitates direct bookings to your property directly through your existing online reservation system.
  • Book Direct has proven to increase more qualified referrals (clicks) directly to lodging facilities websites.
  • Because you - the lodging property - will receive more qualified referrals from Book Direct through SouthCountyRI.com, this allows you to directly convert visitors to customers, increasing reservations for you and filling rooms in our market.


How do The South County Tourism Council lodging partners participate in Book Direct™?  

If the lodging currently has online booking, they do not need to do anything to participate. The South County Tourism Council has signed an Agreement confirming JackRabbit will list all The South County Tourism Council lodging property partners on Book Directand display lodging rates and availability for those lodging properties where Book Direct has a compatible interface. JackRabbit's technology automatically Indexes (i.e. pulls) rates and availability on a daily basis for those properties that have a compatible online booking engine.


What if a lodging partner does not have an online booking engine?

For those lodging properties without an online booking engine, JackRabbit provides a fully functional, self-service reservation engine free of charge. If your organization does not already have an online reservation engine and you're interested in showing rates and availability through SouthCountyRI.com, please sign-up to use JackRabbit's reservation engine here.
For help signing up, please take a few moments to watch a brief online tutorial, found here.  After sign-up, instructions will be emailed outlining the setup of your JackRabbit free reservation engine. You can also download a step-by-step walkthough of the entire system here.  


What if the property is part of a chain?

For those hotels that are with the following chains listed below, JackRabbit has established corporate agreements with each and has the ability to Index and/or has already setup an XML feed for the chain's reservation system providers: Accor, America's Best Value Inns, AmericInn, Best Western, Choice, Carlson, Coast, Drury, Delta, Fairmont, Hilton, Hyatt, Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG), La Quinta, Marriott, Red Roof Inn, Red Lion, Starwood and Wyndham brands.


For questions about Book Direct or the JackRabbit reservation engine, please feel free to contact JackRabbit's Customer Service Team.

Great Media Coverage and Editorials         

Travel + Leisure

This global magazine released its annual reader's survey of the World's Best Hotels for 2014 and South County's Ocean House has been named the No. 1 resort in the continental United States and the No. 5 hotel in the world! Read the article here.


Yankee Magazine

The magazine's May/June Special Travel Guide highlighted New England's seventh state: The Sea. Wickford was featured in the section "Could You Live Here?", noting the town's presence of historic homes, restaurants, shops, neighborliness, and abundance of water views. Also in this edition, the editors voted the following South County places as the "Best Of" Rhode Island:

Best Farm Stand: Schartner Farms, Exeter

Best Old School Water Park: Water Wizz, Westerly

Best Gourmand Getaway: The Weekapaug Inn, Westerly

Best Splurge: Seasons, Westerly

Best Contemporary Italian Dinner: Plum Point Bistro, North Kingstown

Best Vintage Ride: Flying Horse Merry-Go-Round, Westerly

Best Sightseeing Cruise: Rhode Island Bay Cruises Lighthouse Cruise, North Kingstown

Best Low-Key Beach: Charlestown Breachway


New York Times Magazine

The May issue 'Family Travel" section featured South County for its natural beauty, historic charm, and loads of family friendly activities. The editorial highlighted our miles of beaches, the Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum, The Purple Shell, Ocean House, Wilcox Park and the Flying Carousel. Read more here.


Amtrak Acela Arrive

The May/June "Summer Travel Survival Guide" highlighted South County's spring events including Back to the Beach in Westerly, Rhode Island National Guard Open House and Air Show in North Kingstown, the Strawberry Festival at Smith's Castle in Wickford and the Narragansett Fine Arts Festival. Read the article here.


Other Coverage:

  • Coastal Living May 2014 - Great Getaways - Dreaming of sunshiny days
  • Coastal Living June 2014 - Sunny Summer Escapes
  • Coastal Living July/August 2014 - Happiest Seaside Towns
  • National Geographic Traveler - June/July 2014 Best Summer Trips 2014
  • Conde Nast Traveler July 2014 - Go Inside Rhode Island's Swankiest (and Most Storied) Hotel.
New South County Businesses


Watch Hill Inn

This Ocean House multi-suite villa property opened in May. Suites have full kitchens, washers and dryers, and access to all activities at Ocean House or Weekapaug Inn. The design is contemporary and each suite is equipped with the latest technology. www.watchhillinn.com


The Break Hotel

Narragansett's first boutique hotel is slated to open in mid-August. The hotel will have a retro-chic surf vibe and will include a spa, salon and rooftop lounge. www.thebreakhotel.com 





Carriage Inn & Saloon

North Kingstown's 200 year old restaurant has been re-opened and transformed. The restaurant provides capacity for 140, and the new banquet room increases that capacity to 250 people.






Two Ten Oyster Bar & Grill

Home of the former Hanson's Landing in Wakefield, this seafood restaurant has a modern interior and two outdoor seating areas with a view of the marina and salt pond. www.twotenobg.com 





Chophouse Grille

New steak restaurant in Wakefield offering desserts made from Sweet Cakes Bakery.






The Coast Guard House

The main dining room at this South County institution has been re-opened after damages from Hurricane Sandy.






Pure Barre

An exercise studio in East Greenwich that utilizes the ballet barre, this is the perfect place to send guests looking for a new and different type of workout, Classes are offered throughout the day and can be purchased individually online.  www.purebarre.com/ri-eastgreenwich  

 22nd Annual Celebrate South County Day


The power of tourism was delivered to the RI State House on May 6 to officially kick of National Tourism Week. 



Many thanks to our food and beverage partners from Aunt Carrie's, Cool Beans Café, Matunuck Oyster Bar, Allie's Donuts, Kenyon's Grist Mill, Tomaquag Museum, Yawgoo Bakes, Sweenor's Chocolates and Del's Lemonade. Also partnering with us were RI Resource Conservation & Development, Nathanael Greene Homestead Association, Ocean State Waves baseball team, Grey Sail Brewing, Rhode Island's Dressings, Rhode Island Bay Cruises, Frosty Drew Observatory, Purple Shell, RI Water Board, RI Tourism Division and the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council.

Claiborne Pell Bridge Banner

This is SCTC's second year coordinating the banner display on the westbound side of the Pell Bridge and it has been a resounding success! All of the summer weeks have been filled, but there are still limited openings for banner placement in the fall and winter. For more information on placing your banner on the Pell Bridge, contact Lillian at



SCTC Website Advertising

Bring your business to the forefront of South County Tourism Council's award-winning website. Options include "Enhanced" or "Premium" listings that will showcase your business to our website visitors. For more information please contact Diane Patefield at 401-789-4422 or dpatefield@southcountyri.com


Social Media
Now that we are on Instagram, come view the amazing photo displays of South County's beauty. We are also diligently adding visual material to Pinterest. In addition to our daily posts on Twitter and Facebook, we recently partnered with the Rhythm and Roots Festival to host a contest for free festival tickets on our Facebook page. We welcome more opportunities to promote your event or business on our social media pages through contests or special promotions. Please contact Faye at fpantazopoulos@southcountyri.com for more information.
Train the Next Top Chef

Exeter Job Corps Center is expanding the internship program for their culinary arts program and is seeking businesses interested in providing on-the-job training for their culinary students. Job Corps is an education and career technical training program that helps motivated low-income young people improve the quality of their lives through career, technical and academic training. Exeter Job Corps Center has been very successful and is ranked #4 in the nation. If your business is interested in partnering with Job Corps internship program please contact Arthur Berriman at 401-268-6000.

New Faces at SCTC          
There are a few new faces around the Council's office:
Allen Horenstein is the new CFO. Allen worked for many years with the accounting firm Mullen, Scorpio, and Cerilli and has recently decided to work closer to home as an independent accountant. He holds a degree in Accounting from American University in Washington, D.C.

Faye Pantazopoulous is our new Marketing Coordinator. Faye arrived from American Public Television/Create TV in Boston. She has worked in marketing for over 20 years (including heading up her own marketing firm) and has a degree in English and Visual Art from Penn State University.

Miranda Prescott is the new Special Projects Coordinator. Miranda recently moved to Rhode Island and has worked in museums and tourism offices in Seattle and Southern California. She has an undergraduate degree in Geography from the University of Maryland and a Masters in Tourism Administration from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  


Please stop by and give them a warm South County welcome!














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Recent Conferences and Trade Shows

2014 The Power of Place Summit:

Grow Smart RI workshops focused on using RI's assets and strengths to generate sustainable economic benefits. SCTC collaborated with the five other tourism regions in presenting the program "Tourism Works for You".


Discover New England Tourism Summit and International Marketplace 2014

 Attendees included tour operators from Europe as well as Australia, Japan, and China in addition to US Receptive Operators, Online Travel Agencies and Travel Writers. SCTC met with 18 tour operators who specifically requested more information about South County.



DMAI CEO Summit:

Myrna George joined over 130 Destination Marketing CEO's from throughout the country to discuss leadership issues and the future of tourism marketing.   

Key finding? Destinations have to engage people to make them feel connected to the place and to each other using the four "I"s critical in creating successful storytelling; Insights, Individualism, Intimacy, and Inspiration.