WalletHub says Rhode Island worst state for a road trip
While bookings at Rhode Island hotels are up and tourism dollars are increasing, a list by WalletHub ranked the Ocean State last among the 50 states for a summer road trip.
The website weighed 31 metrics, including gasoline prices, safety, attractions and national parks.
Rhode Island was dinged for the high cost of car repairs and very little national parkland.
The "Fun Sized" tourism campaign, according to the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, has been a great success since it started last fall. So far, $700,000 have been spent to bring in $2.5 million in hotel bookings.
“We came up with this concept, ‘Fun Sized,’ and we think it's perfect,” said Lara Salamano. “We are fun sized. It's what differentiates Rhode Island. You can do a lot in a small amount of time.”
Vogue magazine said Watch Hill is the village you should visit this summer, while Trip Advisor said Block Island the third best summer destination.
Still, Wallet Hub ranked Rhode Island last as a road trip destination.
The Commerce Corporation takes issue with its criteria, especially a lack of national parks for one. Although the Ocean State only has Roger Williams Park, which is located off Main Street in Providence, the Blackstone Valley Heritage Corridor has been approved, with the details still being hashed out.
“We’re going to say, 'Can we see the rest of the methodology?’” Salamano said, adding that there are plenty of state parks, a huge arts community, of top-rated beaches, several other outdoor activities year-round included, as well as food.
Visitors book trips three to six months in advance, she said.
“We're almost 90 percent sold out in the summer,” Salamano said. “We'd like people to come in the off seasons. They're going to say, 'That's interesting. Let me click to the site. Let me see what Rhode Island's all about.’ And we really hope people come more than once.”
Meanwhile, Connecticut ranked No. 49, and Massachusetts was No. 25.