BALTIMORE, MD (April 30, 2020) – As Maryland and the country continue to address the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maryland Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism will encourage Marylanders and visitors to show their “Spirit of Travel” during the 37th annual National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) May 3-9, 2020.
Hosted by the U.S. Travel Association, this year’s NTTW theme aims to highlight the resilience of the nation’s tourism industry and the role it will play in the economic and employment recovery. Residents and visitors are being asked to share their Maryland travel experiences on social media, support local restaurants by purchasing gift cards or takeout, and looking ahead to plan their vacation in Maryland once it is safe to travel. A full list of suggested activities is below.
“In these unprecedented times when we are unable to travel, this is a great way for Marylanders and visitors alike to show their support for our tourism industry and highlight some of their favorite Maryland vacation memories,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “We have an incredibly strong and vibrant tourism industry, and when it is once again safe to travel, we look forward to welcoming visitors safely and providing the outstanding travel experience they have come to know in Maryland.”
“While this is an incredibly challenging time for the travel community, National Travel and Tourism Week is the ideal moment to tout our industry’s incredible spirit and look ahead together to the return of normalcy in this country,” said Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association president and CEO. “It’s more important than ever that we remind our communities, our policymakers, and even ourselves about travel’s enormous contributions to the health of our economy and to the American way of life.”
“Tourism has always been a bright spot in the state’s economy, and while this year’s National Travel and Tourism Week may be different than previous years, the pride in Maryland and the jobs tourism professionals hold dear remains the same,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “We are working closely with our tourism professionals across the state to address the challenges they are facing and develop a plan to move the industry forward when we are able to reopen businesses.”
Here are six ways you can show your Spirit of Travel:
- Use the hashtag #SpiritofTravel and #MDinFocus to send us videos, photos, links, and your own words celebrating your favorite Maryland destinations and how you plan to experience them when the time comes.
- Let your Maryland Flag fly with your favorite Free State background for video conferences and virtual get-togethers. Follow this link to download Old Line State backdrops that feed your Spirit of Travel.
- Have fun at home on our Maryland Fun for Everyone page with mad libs, BINGO, an at-home scavenger hunt, statue challenge and more! Make sure to share your hilarious results on social media with the hashtag #MDinFocus.
- Act now for future fun by purchasing gift certificates or making reservations with your favorite tour companies and attractions, or treat yourself to takeout tonight and support a local restaurant.
- The immediate calendar may be clear but look ahead and plan your ideal Maryland vacation at visitmaryland.org which has a variety of inspirational videos and suggested itineraries. It’s never too soon to start dreaming of that next, fantastic Maryland travel experience.
- Join us on Maryland Tourism’s social channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube) for trip ideas, inspirational #MDinFocus images, fun topics, and the continued commemoration of Maryland’s Year of the Woman on #WomanWednesday.
About Maryland Tourism
The Maryland Office of Tourism is an agency within the Maryland Department of Commerce. Visitors to the state spent $18.1 billion on travel-related expenses in 2018. The Maryland tourism industry also generated $2.5 billion in state and local taxes essentially saving Maryland households $1,140 in annual taxes. The industry provided Marylanders with 150,000 jobs. For more information, go to www.visitmaryland.org