Interview with Dan Yorke on State of Mind 12/23/2014

Interview with Dan Yorke on State of Mind 12/23/2014
Stephen M. Maciel - Tue Dec 23, 2014 @ 08:15PM
Comments: 2
Comments: 2


1. Stephen M. Maciel  |  my website   |   Wed Jan 21, 2015 @ 10:30AM

This interview with Dan Yorke will give you an overview of the Rhode Island First Initiative.

2. Anonymous   |   Tue Sep 22, 2015 @ 11:16PM

As referenced in the video, it is time to stop raising taxes & tolls, and start raising addition revenue through commerce.

An Open Letter to State of Rhode Island and Business Community:

A Proposal to Generate Additional State and Commerce Revenue

Regarding our Tourism re-branding efforts, allow me to propose to our state and business community that whatever brand is chosen, we need specific plans in place to generate additional revenue.

One specific proposed plan to generate additional revenue is to increase our shoulder season accommodation occupancy rate. Each additional positive increment in shoulder season occupancy rate produces an economic impact that is quantifiable and track-able (based on RI Department of Revenue FY 1% Room Tax reports).
According to a 2012 Global Insight Study:
~ Each RI (overnight) Visitor Generates $435 in Expenditures
~ Each Visitor Adds $257 to RI Gross State Product
~ Every 204 Visitors Creates a New RI Job

The plan to increase our shoulder season occupancy rate is to greatly enhance existing RI Vacation Packaging coupled with a greatly ramped-up invitation.

Since Rhode Island Tourism’s budget of approximately $5 million is less than half of our nearby competitive states, offering value-added packaging would help compensate for this deficit and better position us relative to the regional market (RI $5m, CT $13m, MA $15m, Source: RI Governor Office).

This value-added packaging is formed by strengthening existing, and adding new, resources while rallying our business community to build even greater strategic partnerships (e.g. our accommodation and manufacturing / maker industries). Packaging investment can be partially borne by participating / benefiting businesses, and be subsidized as a form of media within existing state and commerce marketing budgets.

One specific example of enhancing existing vacation packaging is to promote a message that says; over-and-above the best room rate or package booked, upon check-in, guests will be presented a “Welcome to Rhode Island” Hospitality Package (emblazoned with our new brand). These enhanced packages can be offered now by bundling existing amenities and consumer incentives, and continually grow to become elaborate invitations.

This plan is designed to simultaneously make Rhode Island more attractive as a destination, create greater demand for our products and services, and drive traffic to Main Street to generate additional revenue within the local economy. My colleagues and I have test marketed specific methods to implement these concepts, and we are in the process of freely sharing them with the state and business community. If this is something you have an interest in seeing come to fruition, contact me at

# # #

As a follow up to the Open Letter, allow me to further propose we capitalize on an underutilized existing brand, allowing us to allocate more budget to other resources such as media outreach.

Suggested State Brand: Retain “America’s First Resort” with its exclusive interpretive story of the first two week vacation in U.S. history (1524)

Suggested Campaign: Implement a “Discover Rhode Island First” Campaign
This is a plan of action that continues the ‘First’ theme contained directly within the brand with a focus on all the things we are ‘First’ at in RI, coupled with an invitation to Discover these ‘RI Firsts’

Suggested Primary Message: “America’s First Resort” - Discover why the first two week vacation in U.S. history was taken in Rhode Island!

Purpose of “Discover Rhode Island First” Campaign
~ Fully capitalize on an existing, exclusive brand position
~ Generate additional state and commerce revenue by increasing shoulder season occupancy rates and creating greater demand for RI based products & services*
~ Position RI with a value proposition that differentiates us from neighboring states
~ This proposal also addresses the state’s Tourism RFP request to attract business with its intent to focus on RI business products and services first

“Discover Rhode Island First” Campaign Implementation
~ Share a message that attracts overnight leisure travelers with irresistible “Discover RI First” Vacation Packages over-and-above any currently offered hospitality package, and further incentivize them to patronize Main Street

A successful test market was implemented at two major hotels in South County who presented guests upon check in with “Discover Rhode Island First” Souvenir Gift Bags filled with RI product samples, services and incentives.* These hospitality offers were used both as packaging enhancements to attract overnight bookings, and as a perk for existing guests.

Reference letters of endorsement on Rhode Island First - Discover RI First fb page
Video here:

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