Book your hotel stay in Ocean City. Take the family camping at Deep Creek. Go shopping around the Inner Harbor.
Whether you realize it or not, your weekend getaways and sightseeing tours have a big impact on Maryland’s economy.
A new report, released Wednesday by the Maryland Office of Tourism Development, an arm of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, shows that investment in the state’s tourism industry is resulting in significant growth.
According to the Fiscal Year 2013 Tourism Development Annual Report and Maryland tourism officials:
- Maryland welcomed 35.4 million domestic visitors in 2012, up 2.9 percent from 2011.
- Maryland tourists and travelers spent $14.9 billion on travel expenses in 2012, including local transportation, food and beverage, lodging, retail, air travel and entertainment.
- Spending by visitors grew by 4.6 percent in 2012, and has grown more than 4 percent in each of the past three years.
- The state’s tourism industry directly employed more than 135,000 Marylanders in 2012, with a payroll of $4.5 billion.
- Visitation in 2012 was 30 percent greater than in 2007, when the state counted 27.2 million visitors. This growth was more than triple the national average increase in state visitors, 9.2 percent, over the same five-year period.
- Every $1 spent in advertising by the Maryland Office of Tourism Development returns $160 dollars in visitor spending, more than $22 in state and local revenue and nearly $5 in state sales tax revenue.
- The Maryland Comptroller’s office calculates that sales tax revenue from tourism spending generated $381.4 million in Fiscal Year 2013, up 1 percent from Fiscal Year 2012. Sales tax revenue from tourism has grown 31.4 percent since 2007.
Find the full report and findings here.
Margot Amelia, executive director of the Maryland Office of Tourism Development, explained her team’s growth strategy.
“For the past several years, we have focused our marketing efforts on the key feeder markets of Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Baltimore, including year-round communication through digital and traditional media, as well as consumer research to crystalize key messaging,” Amelia said in a statement.
Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Dominick Murray lauded the tourism industry’s growth and its positive impact on jobs.
“Tourism has been and continues to be a powerful economic engine for Maryland,” Murray said in a statement. “More than 135,000 Marylanders were directly employed in the tourism industry in 2012, with a payroll of $4.5 billion. And the tourism industry not only creates and sustains jobs, it generates substantial tax revenue and business income.”