The power of tourism was delivered to the RI State House on May 6th with the aroma and taste of South County’s finest hospitality vendors, as the 22nd 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 and how it enhances the image of the state.  

 “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: Indian pudding topped with a dollop of creamy vanilla ice cream from Aunt Carrie’s, Cookies from Cool Beans Cafe, oysters from Matunuck Oyster Bar, donuts and donut cake from Allie’s Donuts, Johnny cakes from Kenyon’s Grist Mill, succotash from Tomaquag Museum, chowder and sweet & sour hot dogs from Yawgoo Bakes, 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 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, along with the RI Water Board, RI Tourism Division and the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council,  joined us as we 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.