2019 Legislative Platform

 

ABOUT THE MARYLAND TOURISM COALITION

MTC represents the interests of the tourism community across the state of Maryland with hotels, restaurants, retail locations, attractions, destination marketing organizations, and small businesses counted among our members. Our Legislative Committee, comprised of a cross section of members appointed by the Board of Directors, convenes regularly throughout the year to discuss and consider the potential impact of proposed legislation on the tourism community and to determine what, if any, action should be taken. MTC has a contracted lobbyist, Frank Boston III, to advise the organization and advocate on its behalf. The MTC Legislative Committee has identified the following priorities for the 2019 General Assembly session.


MTC SUPPORTS PERFORMANCE-BASED TOURISM MARKETING FUNDING

  • TO BUILD UPON POSITIVE TRENDS IN THE TOURISM SECTOR AND REMAIN COMPETITIVE WITH NEIGHBORING REGIONS, WE STRONGLY URGE THE GOVERNOR AND GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO INCREASE FUNDING TO THE MARYLAND TOURISM DEVELOPMENT BOARD (MTDB) ACCORDING TO PROVISIONS LAID OUT IN THE TOURISM PROMOTION ACT OF 2008.

Funding initiatives for tourism promotion and marketing has consistently demonstrated a proven return on investment. MTC recommends that the General Assembly continue to fund the Maryland Tourism Development Board at levels consistent with the funding formula laid out by the Tourism Promotion Act of 2008 in order to enable new marketing strategies and keep pace with neighboring states.

MTC supports an additional $1 million in funding for the Maryland Tourism Development Board to provide the resources necessary to engage in market expansion.


MTC SUPPORTS A PRO-BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT IN MARYLAND

  • TO SUPPORT THE HUNDREDS OF BUSINESSES, MANY OF THEM SMALL AND FAMILY-OWNED, THAT MAKE UP MARYLAND’S TOURISM COMMUNITY, MTC OPPOSES ANY REGULATORY LEGISLATION THAT WOULD NEGATIVELY IMPACT THE TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY.

Maryland’s tourism and hospitality industry sustains more than 140,000 jobs that pay nearly $5.5 billion in annual wages. For many young people, a seasonal or part-time job in tourism and hospitality is the first step toward a fulfilling and lucrative career. MTC supports a regulatory approach that balances employee rights with the concerns of small business owners and their customers. The legislature should bear in mind that a one-size-fits-all approach often has unintended consequences that can be particularly injurious to an industry that must respond on a consistent basis to customers that frequently don’t plan ahead.

Any action taken by the General Assembly related to employment regulations, including paid sick leave and minimum wage increases, should not negatively impact on the state’s tourism community, and small businesses in particular, which employ thousands of seasonal and part-time workers.


MTC SUPPORTS AN EXPANSION OF MARYLAND’S CRAFT BEVERAGE INDUSTRY TO DRIVE ADDITIONAL VISITORS TO THE STATE

  • TO SUPPORT THE CRAFT BEVERAGE INDUSTRY IN MARYLAND, WHICH REPRESENTS A NEW OPPORTUNITY TO ATTRACT VISITORS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY AND AROUND THE WORLD, MTC SUPPORTS LEGISLATION THAT WOULD ALLOW THIS SECTOR OF THE TOURISM COMMUNITY TO EXPAND AND THRIVE.

Over the past several years craft brewing and distilling in the U.S. has become an important sector of the tourism industry. States across the U.S. have capitalized on this trend and directed marketing and promotional efforts toward attracting visitors to their breweries and distilleries. While Maryland’s craft beverage industry has already proven to be both successful and popular, recent legislation restricting hours and production has hampered growth.

MTC encourages legislation intended to strengthen the craft beverage industry in Maryland, encourage more breweries to operate here, and actively promote this industry to visitors.

 

MTC SUPPORTS THE STATE’S LOCAL DESTINATION MARKETING ORGANIZATIONS

  • MARYLAND’S DESTINATION MARKETING ORGANIZATIONS PLAY A CRITICAL ROLE IN PROMOTING OUR STATE’S UNIQUE AND DIVERSE TOURISM ASSETS.

From the mountains of Western Maryland to the beaches of Ocean City, local DMO’s are on the front lines, telling compelling stories and encouraging visitation from all over the world. Those visitors contribute to the local economy and support thousands of jobs and small businesses.

MTC supports bond bills and funding initiatives supported by Maryland’s DMO’s