NEWS IN BRIEF
Tourism Industry News and Awards Announced at MTTS
Maryland's tourism industry met for the 33rd annual Maryland Travel and Tourism Summit (MTTS), Nov. 6-9 at The Hotel at Arundel Preserve in Hanover. This three-day event attracts tourism and hospitality industry leaders from throughout the State of Maryland to learn the latest techniques in marketing, sales, public relations, social media, and advocacy.
The Maryland Office of Tourism presentation included some "chest-thumping" announcements including the fact that visitation to the state increased 3 percent in 2012 and that Maryland has increased its share of the visitor market 19 percent since 2007 – far outperforming regional and national trends. Margot Amelia, executive director of the Office of Tourism, also reported that visitor spending increased 4.4 percent to $14.9 billion in 2012. The presentation, which contains more information on how tourism works for Maryland, can be found here (160MB).
The Maryland Office of Tourism also announced the recipients of its annual tourism awards at a luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 7. Dominick Murray, secretary, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, was one of the presenters along with Hannah Bryon, assistant secretary, Tourism, Film and the Arts, Ms. Amelia and Greg Shockley, the Chair of the Maryland Tourism Development Board. Additionally, that evening the Maryland Tourism Council and Maryland Association of Destination Marketing Organizations announced the recipients of their respective awards.
This year, Senator John Astle received the Maryland Office of Tourism’s Leadership Award and Wini Roche, tourism director, Harford County Office of Tourism received the Maryland Tourism Council’s Tourism Person of the Year award. For a complete list winners, click here.
Pencek Appointed to Advisory Council
The National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office announced the appointment of 23 members to the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail Advisory Council. Members of the Council, appointed by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, will consult with the Secretary and the National Park Service on matters related to the trail, including trail development, public access, recreation opportunities, and educational programs along the trail route.
Bill Pencek will serve as chair of the Advisory Council. Mr. Pencek is Deputy Assistant Secretary, Division of Tourism, Film, & the Arts, Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development, and also serves as Executive Director of the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.
Council members will serve two-year terms. The state of Maryland, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the District of Columbia are represented on the council as are non-governmental organizations.
"Advisory Council members will focus on the legacy of the trail as the bicentennial period draws to a close in early 2015," said Mr. Pencek. "With expertise in heritage tourism, community development, and conservation, members of the council will help implement a trail that teaches, engages, and benefits communities for the long-term."
Art of the Chesapeake
The ethereal beauty of the Chesapeake Bay and the diverse wildlife that feeds from its waters has inspired artists for generations. Sculpture, painting and carvings capture the essence of the Bay and are a perfect way to bring home a striking memento from your visit to Maryland.
“Chesapeake Bay art depicts the places and things that evoke the feeling of the bay region, an area known for its natural splendor, maritime culture and recreational choices,” says Margot Amelia, executive director of the state tourism office.
“Throughout the Chesapeake Region, you will find charming Main Streets and Arts and Entertainment Districts, where you can find one-of-a-kind treasures just in time for the holiday season. These towns tend to be scenic locations with an array of cultural attractions and enticing dining and lodging choices – perfect for weekend getaways,” Amelia continued.
For a sampling of events, museum gift shops and local galleries filled with art inspired by the culture and allure of the Chesapeake Bay, click here.
MSAC unveils renewed strategic plan
The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) today unveiled Imagine Maryland: A Renewed Strategic Plan for the Arts 2014-2019. The plan targets key areas that are critical to sustaining the economic impact and statewide vitality of Maryland’s nonprofit arts sector.
“Access to quality arts experiences is core to our quality of life here in Maryland, and the arts are a powerful economic driver for our state,” said Dominick Murray, secretary, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. “This renewed strategic plan builds on past success and reaches even further toward catalyzing the arts for economic development, individual enrichment and community revitalization.”
To advance the reach and impact of the arts, Imagine Maryland: A Renewed Strategic Plan for the Arts 2014-2019 names six strategic goals - each with specific outcomes and strategies. The plan calls for the MSAC to take a leadership role in responding directly to significant changes in demographics, audience behavior, technology and the economy.
The renewed plan culminates a comprehensive strategic planning process that included regional forums, an online stakeholder survey and a statewide public opinion poll, which will be released this winter.
Chesapeake Campaign events generate $1.87 million in Economic Impact
Maryland’s Chesapeake Campaign, a series of weekend festivals branded to commemorate the bicentennial of War of 1812 actions across the State, welcomed more than 70,000 people this past summer. The Chesapeake Campaign included ten events in eight Maryland counties in 2013.
Two events – Attack on Havre de Grace and The Battle of St. Michaels - generated a combined economic impact of nearly $2 million for their respective regions, costing $238,000 to produce and supported by more than $162,000 from the Star-Spangled 200 grant fund. The research study was conducted by Forward Analytics, a market research firm whose clients include festivals and events throughout the United States.
“Two hundred years ago, the British Navy launched its ‘Chesapeake Campaign,’ looting and burning and creating economic devastation in Maryland towns along the Bay,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley. “The War of 1812 in Maryland is our most important national heritage story, when diverse Marylanders from every walk of life banded together to defend our freedoms. Maryland’s Chesapeake Campaign celebrates a national story of triumph while creating tremendous economic benefit for Maryland towns and businesses.”
While stimulating tourism dollars, the Chesapeake Campaign events also educated guests and fostered an interest in Maryland’s role in the writing of the National Anthem. Survey data showed that 66.7 percent of guests are very interested or interested in learning more about the history and 58.8 percent are very likely or likely to participate in future events in Maryland commemorating the Star-Spangled Banner.
Maryland’s Chesapeake Campaign was recently honored at the Maryland Travel and Tourism Summit, a statewide conference for tourism stakeholders. The Chesapeake Campaign won the “Cooperative Marketing Partnership” award; the Battle of St. Michaels won the “Cultural Heritage Tourism” award; and the Attack on Havre de Grace won the “Best Large Event” award.
Maryland Travel and Tourism Summit Media Coverage
Maryland Watermen Heritage Tours Receive Press Coverage in Washington Post
First Director for Bromo Arts District
Priya Bhayana has been hired as the first director of the Bromo Arts District. Priya will work to advance the interests of arts venues, retailers, and other key stakeholders within the Bromo Arts District and the Market Center Merchants Association.
9-11 Memorial Honored
The 9-11 Memorial and its architects were recognized by the AIA during its Maryland Design Awards. This program recognizes excellence in architectural design by AIA Maryland architects worldwide and for AIA member work in Maryland. There were more than 80 submissions to a jury from Chicago and the memorial was one of eight projects selected for recognition.
Mark your calendar for Tourism and the Arts Advocacy Days
Advocates from across the state will voice their support for Maryland tourism and arts funding during meetings with state legislators on Maryland Tourism Day, Fri., Jan. 31, 2014 and on Maryland Arts Day, Wed., Feb. 12, 2014.
Shop Maryland Main Streets on Small Business Saturday
Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday – a day established by American Express in 2010 that encourages shoppers across the country to patronize small businesses. In Maryland, a number of Main Street communities celebrate the day, which occurs Nov. 30 this year, with deals and discounts.