In 2012, Providence was named the nation’s No. 1 Food City by readers of Travel + Leisure. According to Kristen Adamo, vice president of marketing and communications for the Providence Warwick CVB, the honor was the culmination of sustained promotion of the city’s food scene.

“Culinary tourism has been a cornerstone of our marketing efforts for nearly a decade,” Adamo told Destination Marketing Association International in a 2013 guest blog.

Voted “One of the 52 Places in the World to Visit in 2016” by the New York Times, Providence continues to actively promote its F&B story—and meeting planners have taken notice.

“To stand out in the meetings and conventions marketplace, you need to distinguish yourself from other cities of your size,” Adamo said. “For Providence, leveraging our world-class culinary offerings in our leisure marketing strategy has definitely affected our meetings marketing.”

With assets including preeminent culinary school Johnson & Wales University, where groups can take “Chef’s Choice” cooking classes or visit the Culinary Arts Museum, Providence’s full-flavored appeal is bringing groups to the table.

“Planners began identifying us as a top culinary destination, which is attracting both delegates and F&B-related events,” Adamo said. “Last year, we hosted events for the American Cheese Society and the United States Bartenders Guild, and will be hosting the U.S. Personal Chefs Association this summer.”

In a city distinguished by rich ethnic offerings and abundant seafood, unique group experiences include culinary walking tours; Providence Restaurant Weeks, running each January and July; and the annual Ocean State Oyster Festival, inaugurated last September.

Providence Warwick CVB