The power of tourism was evident in the RI State House on May 5th as the South County Tourism Council’s 23rd Annual “Celebrate South County Day…….and the Rest of the State!” officially kicked off National Tourism Week.

The Council hosts the event annually, showcasing the power of travel, and recognizing the economic benefits of tourism.  

 “Tourism has grown in Rhode Island into a multi-billion dollar industry, and one of the largest economic engines in the state.  One out of every ten Rhode Islanders owes his-her job to tourism!  This day highlights some of the elements that make tourism successful and also celebrates the vision legislators had the foresight to create.” said Myrna George, South County Tourism Council President & CEO.

South County exhibitors offered a “Taste of South County” and mouth-watering aromas wafted throughout the State House rotunda. Food samples included: donuts from Allie’s donuts, Johnny cakes from Kenyon’s Grist Mill, succotash from the Tomaquag museum, chowder and sweet & sour hot dogs from Yawgoo Bakes,  oysters from Matunuck Oyster Bar, chocolate scallop shells from Sweenor’s Chocolates, and frozen lemonade from Del’s Lemonade.

Other exhibitors highlighting the diversity of tourism offerings in South County and the rest of the state included the Nathanael Greene Homestead Association, the Purple Shell, and the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council. All who joined us recognized the importance of travel and the tourism industry's economic, social, and cultural contributions to the region.

Smiling faces were seen throughout the State House rotunda as people enjoyed the first frozen lemonade of the season, sampled warm Johnny cakes and learned about the many delights of tourism in South County and the rest of the state.