- September 12, 2021
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NEWPORT, R.I. — The COVID-19 pandemic cost Rhode Island’s hospitality and tourism industry $2.2 billion last year, according to a new study.
The study was commissioned by the Rhode Island Hospitality Association and completed by students enrolled in Salve Regina University business professor Samuel Sacco’s introduction to econometrics class, The Newport Daily News reported Tuesday.
It examined the statewide impacts across each of the industry’s four sectors, including food and beverage; events and meetings; lodging; and tourism and attractions.
“Rhode Island’s hospitality industry was one of the hardest hit industries in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dale Venturini, president and CEO of the hospitality association, said in a statement. “Our membership of hoteliers, restaurants and attractions were extremely transparent on overall loss of business, but this study further illustrates the magnitude of the financial impact to the third-largest industry in Rhode Island.”
The students identified closely with the study, said Sacco, because for many of them the pandemic affected their own employment.
Rhode Island College is delaying the start of the fall semester by more than a week to give more students a chance to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The state school announced last week that classes will start on Sept. 8 rather than Aug. 30.
Students are required to be vaccinated to attend on-campus activities.
A college spokesperson told The Providence Journal that currently about 73% of enrolled students have either already provided proof of vaccination or received an exemption.
The school based in Providence has about 7,000 students.
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