Ten teams competed for the $50,000 prize in the ultimate pitching competition


Leslie Troy,
Connie Spindler,
Matthew Scales,


BALTIMORE, MD (November 16, 2018) - Contestants felt the pinch from the judges known as the “Big Crabs” during the ultimate pitch competition, “Crab Tank on the Choptank.” “Crab Tank,” loosely based on the hit television show, “Shark Tank,” featured contestants presenting their tourism marketing campaign ideas to the crabs in the tank. Five Eastern Shore counties and the town of Ocean City partnered to pitch their idea of "Chase the Blue Crab," a new group tour travel itinerary that invites visitors to celebrate, learn, savor and enjoy authentic expereriences across the Eastern Shore.

“We wanted to generate new innovative ways of encouraging out-of-state travelers to explore Maryland’s beauty,” said Liz Fitzsimmons, Managing Director, Maryland Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts. “Many of us in the tourism industry are use to working in silos where there is a high-level of comfort, but 'Crab Tank' served as an interactive opportunity for those within the industry to cross-collaborate in order to create a program and promotion to encourage travel.”

"We saw this as a great opportunity to expand group tour travel itineraries across the Eastern Shore," said Kristen Goller, Tourism Manager for Wicomico County Recreation, Parks & Tourism.  "We are thrilled to have won the additional marketing support by the Maryland Office of Tourism and look forward to enhancing visitor experiences by chasing the blue crab."

Held live during the 38th Annual Maryland Tourism & Travel Summit in Cambridge, Maryland, the first-ever “Crab Tank on the Choptank” consisted of ten teams from across the state. Teams created programs and promotions that targeted four specific categories: human-powered recreation, family travel, multicultural/diversity travel and group travel. Each team participated in convincing the crabs to invest in their marketing campaign to increase visitation to Maryland. The "Big Crabs" included: Charmaine Singh of Reach Global, Vicki Osman of American Bus Association, Chris Adams of Miles Marketing Partnership, Mike DeAnzeris of Meredith Travel Marketing and Michael Haynie the former Chair of the Maryland Tourism Coalition.The winning crustacean receives $50,000 in promotional exposure by the Maryland Office of Tourism, a division of the Maryland Department of Commerce.

About Maryland Tourism   

The Maryland Office of Tourism is an agency of the Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts within the Maryland Department of Commerce. Visitors to the state spent $17.7 billion on travel-related expenses in 2017. The Maryland tourism industry also generated $2.4 billion in state and local taxes, and provided Marylanders with more than 149,000 jobs with a payroll of $6 billion. For more information, visit www.visitmaryland.org.