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Our Team

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The Sustainable Tourism Lab team consists of staff members and consultants with decades of experience developing tourism programs that include an emphasis on sustainable tourism principles.

Lab Staff

Robert Billington

The Lab is directed by the experienced leadership of Robert Billington, founder in 1985 of the not-for-profit Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, which is the managing agency for tourism development in 9 communities of Northern Rhode Island. The Council develops historic, cultural, natural, agricultural and commercial resources using sustainable, resilient, whole place-making strategies. In June of 2006, the Council was awarded the Ulysses Prize from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). In addition, the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council earned the UNWTO’s S.best Certification in Tourism Governance. Billington developed the Sustainable Tourism Planning and Development Laboratory to assist communities in tourism planning needs. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Boston University Graduate School, Johnson and Wales University and is the Leisure Services Management Curriculum coordinator at Bristol Community College in Massachusetts.

Natalie Carter

Natalie Carter serves as the Director of Operations for both the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council and the Sustainable Tourism Planning and Development Lab. She is responsible for the growth and development of both organizations. Her years of experience in the non-profit tourism sector make Natalie an asset to the Laboratory team.

James Toomey

James Toomey is the research and project coordinator for the Sustainable Tourism Lab. He has extensive marketing expertise and has worked with Lab projects to interpret historical, cultural, and ecological destinations in the Blackstone River Valley, USA. James built a vast catalog of real-world knowledge while traveling the United States as an independent musician, which allowed him to examine and interact with the various local cultures he encountered throughout the nation. Mr. Toomey graduated summa cum laude from Bristol Community College with an associate’s degree in Geotourism Management and has continued his studies at Bryant University in the fields of Marketing and Sociology. In addition, James has been cited for his leadership abilities from the Governor of Rhode Island and served the Commonwealth Honors Program, a state-run academic committee in the commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Consultant Team

  • New Commons, Pawtucket, RI – Meeting Facilitator

  • The Haywood Group, Quebec CN – Writing and Analysis

  • Graphic Pix Inc, Narragansett, RI – Brand Design

  • Advantage Marketing Information, Wickford, RI – Tourism Marketing Research

  • Gates Leighton Assoc, East Providence, RI - Landscape Design

  • Creating Results, East Greenwich, RI – Special Consumer Market Research

  • Resilient Futures, Westerly, RI – Conditions Analysis

  • Yaeger Communications, Swampscott, MA – Cultural Heritage Tourism
    Specialist Development

  • David Goldstein, Providence RI - Marketing and Research

About the Lab . Programs . Our Team . Workshops . Awards/Testimonials . Presentations/Reports . Blackstone Valley Story
HOME . Sustainable Tourism . Articles . Blog . News . Calendar . Links . Contact Us  

Sustainable Tourism Planning & Development Laboratory, c/o Blackstone Valley Tourism Council  175 Main Street  Pawtucket, Rhode Island  USA  02860
401.724.2200    info@sustainabletourismlab.com