A City For All

The new head of tourism talks about the past, present, and future of Providence


“If I can get people here, this city sells itself,” says Kristen Adamo. As President and CEO of the Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau (PWCVB), she has the important role of showing out-of-towners just how great Rhode Island, and more specifically Providence, is. Recently appointed on April 25, Kristen has enjoyed a long and fruitful history in the bureau, serving previously as the Director of Communications, where she ran marketing strategy and was later promoted to Vice President.

So, what’s in store for the year ahead? Kristen is working to make sure that the PWCVB tells the stories “of all of our community.” She’s in the process of setting up a walking tour of African American history in Providence and creating more content about local African American history on their website. “I’d like to do that with indigenous people, with our Latino community, we just want to broaden our perspective and tell stories that appeal to all Americans and all visitors.”

In the 14 years that Kristen has worked for the bureau, she has been a key player in Rhode Island tourism. One particular success is that she has raised the profile on Providence’s gastronomic brand, orchestrating Providence’s own successful “Restaurant Week.”

Throughout her tenure, Kristen says that “we’ve done a lot of outreach in terms of things like the LGBTQ community, we’ve built sort of a niche market promoting Providence as a great place for the gay and lesbian community. Recently, we’ve done a lot of work with promoting Providence’s neighborhoods as a diverse collection, and you can go and curate your own experience here.” Kristen also supports and oversees the hundreds of meetings, sporting events, and conventions that happen – and bring economic activity – here. There were 250 last year alone.

In her new role, Kristen wields her outreach, strategy, and marketing skills to shine a light on local organizations and communities. She says that one of the most satisfying, and joyful, aspects of her job is that she’s “really, really proud to help people with their small businesses.”