NEWS IN BRIEF
Berlin, MD: America's Coolest Small Town!
While Maryland has its share of cool small towns, voters to an on-line poll sponsored by Budget Travel have officially deemed Berlin, MD to be America’s Coolest Small Town. The town took 28 percent of the vote and was the only town to have a song (Cool Berlin, by Steve Frene) penned for its election campaign. “I’ve never seen a town rally around something so completely and passionately. We now plan to use the designation in all advertising and marketing. We are looking forward to riding this wave all year,” said Lisa Challenger, director, Worcester County Tourism.
History goes High-Tech
Bringing history into the high-tech world is the goal of the latest project of the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission and Star-Spangled 200, Inc. when they jointly launched two web-based interpretive resource projects on Feb. 18. Both KeyCam and War of 1812 Interactive Battlefield Maps were designed to promote, educate, and inform a wide audience about Francis Scott Key, significant War of 1812 battles in the Chesapeake region and the upcoming 200th anniversary of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner.
“KeyCam and the War of 1812 Battlefield maps are two meaningful projects that are exciting for a number of reasons,” said Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. “These new, free online tools will bring the history of Maryland and our nation to life for visitors in a modern, interactive, and easy-to-access tool that will make celebrating the Star-Spangled 200 all the more special."
KeyCam.com, has four web cams that are fixed on Fort McHenry in Baltimore and is designed to give the same view that 200 years ago inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words to what would later become our National Anthem. Additional features include an interactive image gallery allowing users to upload their own inspiring photographs and other digital media.
The War of 1812 Interactive Battlefield Maps, www.1812battles.com, feature cutting-edge maps that through animation highlight four significant battles of the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake: the Battle of St. Leonard Creek, the Battle of Bladensburg, the Battle of North Point and the Battle of Baltimore. Each map provides an historical context of the battle, along with images, artwork, and video highlighting the history of each battle. Users can experience the battles in the Chesapeake Bay landscape as it was during the War of 1812 or toggle to the modern landscape of 2014.
Both projects were done in partnership with the National Park Service and award-winning interactive firm, Alexander + Tom, Inc.
RESI Releases Impact of Film Production Tax Credit
The Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI) released its findings on the economic and fiscal impacts of the Film Production Tax Credit. The report was prepared for the Maryland Film Industry Coalition (MFIC). By comparing tax credits claimed with tax revenues generated, RESI determined the Return on Investment of the film tax credit program between Calendar Year 2012 and Calendar Year 2015 was $1.03 in tax revenue for every $1 claimed in film tax credit. Those projects that received tax credits on average employed 746 Marylanders. And, on average, nearly 860 Maryland businesses and vendors were positively impacted by the projects receiving credits.
International Marketing Efforts Deliver Results
Brand USA, the organization that promotes international visitation to the United States, recently announced that its marketing efforts are having a significant and positive impact on international arrivals to the U.S. and its economy.
For the Fiscal Yyear that ended September 30, 2013, Brand USA’s marketing campaigns generated 1.1 million incremental visitors to the United States—a 2.3 percent increase over growth that would have occurred without Brand USA marketing initiatives, as reported in a study conducted by Oxford Economics. These additional visitors spent $3.4 billion in the United States, including travel and U.S. carrier fare receipts, and are estimated to have the following U.S. economic impact:
- $7.4 billion in business sales
- $2.2 billion in personal income
- $512 million in Federal taxes
- $460 million in state & local taxes
Margot Amelia, executive director, Office of Tourism and other Maryland industry partners along and tourism industry professionals from across the country will come together during Destination Capitol Hill, Feb. 26-27, to speak directly to lawmakers about issues that impact the travel industry and how Brand USA is building on success and how international tourism marketing efforts are yielding strong results.
Tourism Tax Codes grow 1.7 percent in first five months
The latest issue of the Maryland Tourism Monitor – the Office of Tourism’s monthly report on metrics for marketing, tourism-related sales taxes, lodging and transportation trends, and leisure and hospitality jobs – is now available online. Among its findings: sales tax revenue from tourism tax codes grew 1.7 percent the first five months of the fiscal year; the addition of table games led to an increase in gaming revenue of 55.2 percent; and Maryland outperformed the nation and the region in increases in hotel room revenue and rooms sold in November.
Maryland Green Travel on the Road
One of the goals of the Maryland Green Travel program is to educate tourism-related businesses to the benefit of adopting the environmentally sound practices of reducing waste and energy consumption. To meet that goal, Catherine Batavick (pictured at the computer), program manager, Maryland Green Travel, traveled to Boonsboro, in tandem with the Maryland Green Registry, on Feb. 10 to discuss how adopting green practices benefits businesses. If your area is interested in learning more about Maryland Green Travel, contact Ms. Batavick.
BMA showcases Baker Artist Awards
Today begins a presentation of the winners of the Baker Artist Awards at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The Baker Artist Awards were created to support artists who live and work in Baltimore and its surrounding five counties. Baker Artist Awards including artworks by sculptor Jonathan Latiano and photographer Lynne Parks and a video presentation of cellist Dariusz Sckoraczewski, winners of last year’s $25,000 Mary Sawyers Baker Prize.
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) announces the availability of the guidelines for ArtsCONNECT
A program supporting the presentation and touring of performing arts engagements of excellence across the mid-Atlantic region. ArtsCONNECT supports projects developed by presenter consortia that include both public performances and complementary activities. The application submission deadline for the 2014-2015 ArtsCONNECT program is Friday, March 14, 2014. Program guidelines are available here.
National Arts Advocacy Day
Hosted March 24-25 in Washington, D.C. by Americans for the Arts and co-sponsored by more than 85 national arts organizations, National Arts Advocacy Day is the largest gathering of its kind, bringing together a broad cross section of America's cultural and civic organizations. Grassroots advocates from across the country come to Washington DC to meet with their members of Congress in support of issues like arts education policy, the charitable tax deduction, and funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
What's At Stake In 2014? Between tax reform, budget battles, and education reauthorization, support for arts and arts education is facing many challenges on Capitol Hill this year. As Congress and the administration address ever-changing policy proposals, National Arts Advocacy Day is an opportunity to share with lawmakers the broad impact of vibrant arts in communities nationwide. Register for National Arts Day.
Profit by Joining a Capital Region USA Sales Mission
CRUSA's upcoming sales missions to Brazil (April 20-25), Germany (May 18-22) and China (July – TBD) will give you the opportunity to sell your destination or product directly to our most important tour operator, travel agent and media clients in three of the region's top producing markets. Mission formats vary but typically include personal sales calls, private client events and training opportunities. All missions are organized and led by CRUSA's representatives in each market. Contact Matt Gaffney at 443.994.1862 for more information or to see a sample mission itinerary, or click here to register.