Fun-Sized Depends on the Comparison

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Have you seen the “Fun-Sized” promotional videos that the state Commerce Corp. is crediting with an up-tick in tourism?  You can watch all 14 videos, here, pretty quickly, because each is only 10 seconds long or so.

Each one starts close in on people doing something fun and then quickly zooms out so the viewer can see that it’s all happening in close proximity to other things.  The idea is clever, and the idea of being able to enjoy a variety of activities across a small state is compelling, for some kinds of vacationers.  Still, the cumulative effect gives the sense that Rhode Island isn’t so much a small state as a large, loosely coordinated resort.

I’m not saying that’s necessarily bad.  I’m not sure how I feel about it, when it comes to promoting tourism.

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As a cynical small-government conservative in the Ocean State, though, I’m inclined to dislike the impression on grounds of political philosophy, though.  A resort, after all, tends to be more-tightly coordinated, run by a central authority.  To the extent that the “resort area” is part of the appeal, they’re explicitly catering to customers of the resort.  If Rhode Island is a resort, then the central powers are the driving force.

And of course, there’s the point I’ve made before.  A key reason Rhode Island has such diversity of aesthetics around the state is the independence individuals used to have to define their neighborhoods.  The more we centralize power and concern ourselves with the minute affairs of people who live in other towns and attempt to redistribute wealth from one area to others, the less that diversity will characterize our state.



  • Guest

    Hawaii is10 times the size of Rhode Island but it has only 4 counties and has the second largest tourism budget (mostly self supporting) in the nation behind California. Tourism is ranked 3rd major industry in Hawaii employing over 204,000
    people out of census population of 1.4 million.

    Hawaii Tourism Authority is the main state-wide executive funding agency and driver collecting daily census counts, information, providing weekly, monthly, annual statical reports to public and State General Assembly plus marketing the state nationally, internationally and operating the central state website of broadbased state-wide information in concert with 4 county Visitor Bureaus are the main agents for in depth local information which provide continuously updated individual local island information, activities, housing information, costs and operate the local storefronts and island websites.

    The 2017 Hawaii State-wide Annual Fiscal Budget was $13.9 billion based only on (per constitution) 1.4 million resident taxes.

    Tourist 2017 total census count of 9,382,986 infused the Hawaii economy with $16.78 billion of which $1.96 billion was excess tax income for the year which helps reduce the cost of state and municipal services to residents plus adds a lot of free services and activities to keep tourists coming back.

    So who is asking the Tourism Office of Rhode Island Commerce how much did the film’s cost? How many tourists visited RI? How much did tourist spend? How much tax dollars did RI gain for its tourist expenditures? How many people are employed in RI tourism? Where are tourists coming from? On average how much do tourists spend per day? What regions is RI advertising in And how much is the cost? How many are repeat tourists?

    • Clueless Guy

      I think RI’s tourism industry can be used as a valid comparison with Hawaii.

      • Guest

        Clueless Guy, I don’t think RI is anywhere near HI in the realm of valid tourism and tourism program.

        According to the WPRI news report highlighted by Justin the Commerce Corporation is indicating since starting the “Fun-Sized” promotional video campaign $1.9 million in hotel booking have accrued. May I ask what were the hotel booking durig the same time period last year and the year before?

        From Justin’s article; “The Providence Journal reports the state’s Commerce Corporation says the campaign has led to more than 6,000 hotel bookings since it launched in November, as well as more than 4,000 flights to the state.” This is the same as above being reported in a different way however where the false information bleeds in is in the inference of the 4,000 flights to the state because of the “Fun-Sized” promotional video campaign. Major Airlines are not going to increase flights to a state due to promotional campaigns. I would also say RI Commerce Corporation doesn’t even know how many tourist rooms there are in RI.

        From Justin’s article; “Commerce Corporation Chief Marketing Officer Lara Salamano says the campaign could have added $11 million to the state economy based on visitor’s spending.”
        This is estimating a figure without providing back up supporting documentation as to what was last year’s figures?

        RI Commerce Corporation does not collect data on tourists nor does it provide weekly, monthly and annual statistical tourism numbers and data to the general public and Smith Hill so you know what is working and how your tax dollars are being spent.

        If you go to the visit Rhode Island website to tours the two major tourist companies listed (Conway and Gray Line) only support 1 tour in Rhode Island as the rest are all out of state. Great job RI Commerce Corporation promoting other states!

        RI Commerce Corporation can’t stop the lies and inflating information to make RI look great when it actually makes the state look dumb and full of liars. In the video “South County, Rhode Island” at the end it highlights “the world’s only 15 Star Hotel” which after some research I found an article from the Boston Globe highlighting “The Ocean House” because it had received a 5 star rating 3 years in a row.

        As usual Massachusetts and Connecticut are still up to tricks sucking RI into stupid marketing tricks.

        • Clueless Guy

          All valid concerns. I’m just not sure what Hawaii has to do with them.

  • BasicCaruso

    Justin, predictably putting the “FU” back into fun.

    • Justin Katz

      I’d suggest that the “FU” was put there by the people who took my money for their own fun.

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