Marketing Block Island

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 7:45am

There has been some speculation as to how the past couple of seasons performed from a business perspective, but Block Island Tourism Director Jessica Willi said she will present hard numbers, such as the hotel, and food and beverage taxes collected for fiscal year 2017 at the Tourism Council’s annual meeting at The Spring House on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 5 p.m. The public is invited.

As an example, Willi said, there were a total of 107 weddings performed on Block Island in fiscal year 2017. So far, for fiscal year 2018, which ends on June 30, 2019, there have been 71 weddings. At this point in 2017 there were 70 weddings performed, according to Willi, indicating that the island is tracking the same, in terms of the wedding business, with the past year.

Willi said she is also going to “delve deeper into our marketing, why we do what we do” in terms of advertising on radio, in print, and online.

The program will include an update from the R.I. State Office of Tourism Marketing Director Lara Salamano, whose team has created the seven-second online “Fun-Sized” ads, which last year caused some stir when an ad featuring Block Island showed two mopeds riding side by side. There are two Fun-Sized ads up now featuring Block Island, one on bird watching and the other featuring The Spring House.

Also speaking will be Anna Blount, Director of Market Research and Insights at MMGY Global, which calls itself the “largest integrated travel marketing organization in the world.” Blount studies travel and tourism, with a focus on New England. According to Willi, Blount will be speaking about American vacation habits and preferences.

In addition to the speaking program, members of the joint University of Rhode Island/Bureau of Ocean Energy Management study group (who presented at last year's meeting) will present their near-final report on the effects of the Block Island Wind Farm on travel and tourism.