RISBJ Staff | Jun 21, 2016
The South County Tourism Council (SCTC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated bringing voice and visuals to inspiring visitors to vacation in the destination South County which includes the townships of Charlestown, Coventry, East Greenwich, Exeter, Hopkinton, Narragansett, North Kingstown, Richmond, South Kingstown, West Greenwich, and Westerly. We are a natural environment versus a built environment, positioned as a leisure travel destination.
Tourism is economic development and the vast majority of the tourism industry is supported by small businesses in the southern portion of Rhode Island. South County has some of the largest forests and agricultural area that spill down to 100 miles of coastline, featuring 20 public beaches, 15 museums, 17 public golf courses and endless hiking and biking trails. Unlike tourism offices representing a large or mid-size city, many of our businesses heavily rely on vacationing visitors – especially in the high summer season – producing an integrated marketing campaign. South County Tourism Council is the official agency dedicated to marketing our hotels, businesses, non-profits, and beaches during this high season, as well as creating the only exclusive South County Bridal Show in January dedicated to South County bridal vendors – in addition to creating programs that are cross generational in the off season.
Much of our programs are based upon solid marketing research. Which in turn produce our award winning publication South County Style a 100-page vacation guide; a year-long media advertising campaign directed to our leisure tourism market; targeted sales efforts; public relations strategy; participation in numerous trade shows; and a comprehensive website/social media campaigns. The SCTC also assists travel professionals including media, tour operators, and travel agents, aid in planning a meeting or corporate event, as well as providing information to the travelling public enjoy our destination. Additionally, the SCTC operates a Visitors Information Center, offering maps, brochures, and information of the humankind.
Overnight visitors spend twice the amount of money as day-trippers; inspirational marketing of the region as a vacation destination is our passion. SCTC is funded by the hotel tax in 1986 with the purpose of bringing visitors from beyond a 50 mile radius into our 449 square mile region, showcasing our range of accommodations, events and restaurants, in a naturally beautiful environment is our passion. Small businesses may be aware the programs run by SCTC to market them do not require that they be dues paying members.
PLACES TO VISIT WHEN IN SOUTH COUNTY
The Ocean House: The Ocean House is a luxury Rhode Island hotel in Watch Hill. The Weekapaug Inn is the sister hotel to the Ocean House.
Tomaquag Museum: A unique collection of over 20,000 cultural objects along with hundreds of thousands of pieces of archival materials focusing on the Native peoples of New England and Rhode Island.
Purple Shell: Traditional Wampum and Native Crafts
Tilted Barn Brewery: Rhode Island’s first farm brewery, brewing small batches of hand-crafted beer made with ingredients grown right on the farm.
Theatre by the Sea: Professional level live theatre presented in a Historic Barn Theatre. Operating during the summer months Memorial Day thru Labor Day.
Matunuk Oyster Farm: Matunuck Oyster Farm supplies the Pond to Plate concept for the restaurant, Matunuck Oyster Bar, with fresh oysters harvested right off the waterfront patio in the pond.
The Fantastic Umbrella Factory: A 19th Century farmyard shopper’s paradise and international bazaar. A Rhode Island landmark and National Treasure in Charlestown, RI since 1968. Open year round.
Visit southcountyri.com for more information.