Tourism Spending Continues to Grow in Maryland

Visitors spent more than $18 billion in 2018, up 47 percent from 2009

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Leslie Troy,
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Connie Spindler,
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BALTIMORE, MD (November 6, 2019) – Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz today announced that visitors to Maryland spent more than $18 billion in calendar year 2018, up 2.1 percent from the previous year and 47 percent from 2009. The announcement was made at the annual Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit being held this week at the Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Allegany County.

“Our administration is committed to providing outstanding customer service and ensuring visitors to our state have the best possible experience,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Maryland offers a wealth of unique travel options to our visitors - from our mountains to our beaches and all of our vibrant cities and towns in between - we have something for everyone.”    

The Economic Impact of Tourism in Maryland, a report conducted by Tourism Economics, shows that visitor spending went up by $370 million to $18.1 billion and generated $2.5 billion in state and local taxes, saving every Maryland citizen $1,140 in annual taxes. Visitor spending in Maryland has continued to grow every year since 2009.

“Maryland’s aggressive tourism marketing strategy is showing significant results with consistent increases in spending at our state’s lodging, food & beverage, retail, recreation, and transportation providers,” said Secretary Schulz. “The state and our tourism industry partners are working hard to ensure that Maryland is truly ‘Open for Business.’”

In early 2019 the Maryland Office of Tourism, an agency of Maryland Commerce, launched their ‘Open for It’ branding campaign, which included marketing and advertising the state’s unique tourism assets in nine key markets around the country. A recent study of the effectiveness of the campaign showed that more than 53,000 trips to Maryland were generated by travelers seeing the ads, and that for every dollar spent on the campaign, $31 came back into Maryland’s economy.

Tourism remains the 10th largest private sector employer in Maryland with a growth of 1,000 tourism jobs to 150,000. While overall visitation decreased slightly from 42.5 million to 41.9 million in 2018, the decrease was offset by increases in visitor per-trip spending which were driven by longer stays at more in-state destinations. While most of Maryland’s visitors come by car, the Thurgood Marshall Baltimore-Washington International Airport - the busiest airport in the greater DC area -  served a record 27.15 million passengers in 2018.

The Maryland Tourism Development Board and the Maryland Office of Tourism’s annual marketing plan is 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 transactionable outcomes.

About Maryland Commerce
The Maryland Department of Commerce stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies and providing financial assistance to Maryland companies. The Department promotes the State's many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development and international investment, trade and tourism. Because they are major economic generators, the Department also supports the Arts, film production, sports and other special events. For more information, visit commerce.maryland.gov