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Tourism on the rise in Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Visitors to Maryland spent more than $17 billion in calendar year 2017, up 2.1 percent from the previous year, officials announced today at the Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit. The study, conducted by Tourism Economics, also showed that $2.4 billion in state and local taxes were generated by visitors, which saved every Maryland household $1,100.

“Maryland has so much to offer, it’s no surprise that tourism is one of our most important economic generators and job creators,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Our goal is to give each and every visitor, whether they are here for vacation or business, the best possible experience so travelers return again and again. Maryland tourism is open for business!”

Tourism is Maryland’s 10th largest private sector employer. The study showed that there was a 2 percent increase in employment to 149,000 in 2017 and a 4 percent increase in wages to $6.3 billion. While overall visitation decreased slightly to 41.5 million in 2017 from 42.1 million the previous year based on a report by DK Shifflet and Associates, there was a significant increase in visitors from targeted markets. Starting in 2015, the Maryland Office of Tourism Development began promoting Maryland as a travel destination to a number of states and cities in the region, and last year reported visitors from New York have increased 10 percent, with visitors from Pittsburgh up 4 percent, and visitors from Washington, D.C. up 3 percent.

“Our marketing strategy of promoting Maryland as a tourism destination in key markets is paying off, with increases in spending on food and beverages, as well as lodging and vacation rentals,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “We are continuing to work on enhancing the visitor experience, with a number of new tours like the Frederick Douglass Driving Tour and the Great Chesapeake Bay Loop, which celebrate our rich history and connection to the Chesapeake Bay.”

The Maryland Tourism Development Board and the Maryland Office of Tourism recently released its annual marketing plan, which can be found here. The plan will continue to build on the four strategic objectives that focus all activities on growing revenue to the state through: leveraging partnerships, maximizing opportunities, market expansion, and transactional opportunities.

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