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Rhode Island wants to lure tourists and businesses to the state and enticed the former head of tourism in neighboring Massachusetts to lead the effort.

Rhode Island is tapping a former Massachusetts tourism chief to rebrand the nation’s smallest state into a more inviting destination for tourists and businesses.

The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation announced it has hired Betsy Wall for its newly created position of chief marketing officer.

Wall spent eight years running the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism during the administration of Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker replaced her earlier this year as he also sought to cut the tourism office’s budget.

Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor says the hiring is part of a push by Gov. Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, to create a positive statewide brand and lure new businesses.

Wall, who started her job this week, will be paid an annual salary of $135,000.

This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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Tags: massachusetts, rhode island, tourism

Photo Credit: The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation wants to turn around business and tourists' perceptions about the state. Visit Rhode Island