Restore Greater Newport, an organized coalition of business, tourism, hospitality, manufacturing and marine entities is calling on the General Assembly and the McKee Administration to immediately enact specific measures to save the upcoming tourism season and in so doing, minimize the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and restore economic prosperity to the greater Newport region. The requested initiatives amplify the more broad-based initiatives unveiled on March 2nd and focus near-exclusively on the travel and tourism industry.
The coalition specifically requested the following Legislative and/or Administrative action:
Work with the trade organizations and sector representatives representatives on an ongoing basis to manage consumer confidence and health and safety.
Adopt the US travel association – safe travel guidance.
Develop a consumer confidence-boosting campaign that spells out what the state and its partners are doing to keep people safe. Invest state resources in this endeavor.
Prioritize hospitality, tourism, and retail employees to receive vaccines. These are workers who are essential to our economy.
Remove the COVID Safety Officer requirement in its entirety and adopt the common sense guidelines similar to those announced by our neighboring states.
Enhance accessibility for the rapid test so that hospitality and tourism businesses can support the health and safety of their employees and customers.
Reduce quarantining requirements for out of state visitors, with appropriate parameters and guidance from DOH/CDC.
Support testing centers in high trafficked areas – downtown Newport, Airports, Train stations, bus depots, marinas and all ports of entry.
Clearly define the numbers of people that will be permitted at all types of venues and establishments and ensure consistency throughout the season.
Develop clear guidance for conferences and business meetings conducted indoors and outside.
Develop best practices for weddings, caterers and large social gatherings.
Keep cleaning protocols in place for boating-related events.
Coordinate with regional leaders to seek Federal support for tourism promotion and enhanced health and safety equipment needs.
Continue to clearly articulate event parameters, along with capacities allowed in restaurants and retail establishments so that visitors will understand the rules of the destination and anticipate the experience.
Work with industry sector representatives to plan for the resumption of business meetings and conferences. This can include promoting outdoor meetings at various venues that can accommodate.
The following large scale events are currently being planned in the Greater Newport Region:
April 9 – May 16 Daffodil days at Blithewold Mansion
June 18-20 Back in Bloom
Bristol 4th of July parade (to be held on July 5th)
Jul 4-20 Newport Music Festival ( Classical)
July 11- 18 Tennis Hall of Fame championships
July 23-25 Newport Folk Festival
July 30-Aug 1 Newport Jazz Festival
Sept 16-19 Newport International Boat Show
September 17-19 Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival
Sept 30- Oct 3 Audrain’s Newport Concours & Motor Week
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