PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A marketing campaign to draw more tourists to Rhode Island is seeing mixed results at the height of the summer beach season.
A report by Tennessee-based research firm STR shows the hotel occupancy rate in Rhode Island from January through July dropped slightly when compared to last year.
But hotel revenue in Rhode Island from January through July is up 5 percent from the same time period last year. The hotel revenue in the state as measured by the average daily income per occupied room has grown more than in the New England region as a whole, which saw a 2.8 percent increase, and nationwide, which had a 3.2 percent increase. Rhode Island's revenue per available room also grew more than the regional and nationwide rate.
The news comes after the embarrassing April rollout of a new state tourism campaign with mistakes that included a video featuring footage of Iceland. The video was scrapped, and the tourism campaign was rebooted.
But cleaning up the mistakes cost the state's Commerce Corp. time during a critical period when travelers are preparing for summer vacations.
July's hotel occupancy rate was 82.1 percent, down 3.7 percent from July of last year. Overall, the occupancy rate was down 0.7 percent this year; the surrounding region also experienced a decrease during that time, as did the United States.
The state's new tourism chief is counting on a newly launched digital advertising campaign to boost late-summer and autumn tourism.
Targeting travelers from the Boston-to-Philadelphia corridor, the ads began appearing on travel-related websites early this month and will continue through the end of September.