The Block Island Times

Tourism plans ahead for magazine

By Stephanie Turaj | Nov 22, 2012

The Tourism Council spent much of its brief November 13 meeting discussing plans and ideas for its 2013 Block Island Magazine.

The magazine publisher, Fraser Lang, presented the publication’s finances. He reported that last year, the Tourism Council received a $4,650 rebate in net revenue funds. As the council pays a $30,000 fee to produce the magazine, this brings the Tourism Council’s expenses on the magazine down to roughly $25,000.

Member John Cullen questioned if there were any ways to bring costs down even more, as he said that the plans originally had been to gradually reduce costs year by year. Lang said that there could be possible ways to do that, but it would require an increase in sponsorship charges or a possible reduction in circulation. Last year, the magazine printed 80,000 copies, which were distributed throughout New England and New York.

Lang also commented that there are plans in the works to increase the magazine’s digital presence.

Tourism member Steven Filippi said he would prefer to spend most of the $30,000 in other ways besides a magazine, perhaps in digital advertising only. He said that the Tourism Council could get a return of two to three times more with digital advertising.

“Research continues to suggest that print media works best as a lure,” said magazine editor Lisa Stiepock. Tourism Executive Director Jess Willi agreed, and said that the best method is to mix both print media with electronic media.

Stiepock presented the council with three cover options for Block Island Magazine. The Tourism Council pored over the options, gave a couple of suggestions and comments, and seemed inclined to choose one of the three.

Willi also announced that the annual holiday tree lighting will take place on November 27, with the celebration starting at 5:30 p.m. Members discussed briefly the details of the stroll and the tree lighting.

Willi reported that the August hotel tax revenue was up from recent years. She also noted that September through November are tax amnesty months for Rhode Island, so hotel taxes for these months may also be slightly up.


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