Editorial: Jessica Willi right choice for tourism award

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 3:00pm

We sometimes feel as though the state of Rhode Island has forgotten us out here; that we’re just a cash cow in terms of tax revenue and that’s about it. Of course, the island does produce revenue for the state because so many people find Block Island an attractive place to visit.

The ongoing efforts to market the island are by no means easy, and so we felt particular satisfaction when Jessica Willi, the Director of Marketing for the Block Island Tourism Council, was recognized by the state recently for her remarkable efforts in showcasing the island. She was honored with the Mary Brennan Tourism Award by the Rhode Island Hospitality Association. Willi was this year’s “Star of the Industry.”

There are many vacation destinations to choose from in Rhode Island, not to mention New England. To begin to cut through the white noise that is the nature of so many of today’s competing marketing efforts and get noticed is quite a feat. Willi has worked tirelessly in getting the island’s social media efforts up and running; she introduced video promotions and represents the island at trade shows, all on a budget that can be described as less than robust.

Because of these efforts, you can almost feel the positive change in how the island is viewed by others. This is just the beginning, of course; there’s always work to be done. But while we’re certain that many other people in the state were considered for the recognition that Willi received, we’re pleased that the Hospitality Association reached out 13 miles into the Atlantic Ocean. (See story here.)