The 39th annual Maryland Travel & Tourism Summit (MTTS) concluded on November 8, 2019 at Rocky Gap Casino and Resort in Cumberland, MD. Sponsored and managed by the Maryland Tourism Coalition (MTC), the summit brings together hundreds of public sector leaders in the hospitality industry each year to network and learn new strategies in an effort to advance Maryland’s already thriving tourism industry.

As part of this informative, three-day event, annual Tourism Awards were presented to many deserving individuals within the industry. Margot Amelia, a long-time Tourism Professional who once served as Executive Director for the Maryland Office of Tourism Development (OTD), won this year’s Tourism Person of the Year Award. During her time as the Executive Director with OTD, Margot hit record-breaking years of visitation, visitor spending, and state sales tax revenue in Maryland during some of the state’s most challenging economic times. These outstanding numbers were attainable because of Margot’s foresight into consumer-driven marketing strategies which targeted key feeder markets through digital and traditional marketing channels.

For the past four years, Margot has operated as the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD. Through her leadership, the National Aquarium has grown to become the number one paid cultural destination in Baltimore, attracting more than 1.3 million visitors each year.

Margot is an “inspiring leader with a strong and savvy focus on tourism and advertising,” said Emma Wesoloski, Director of Marketing Programs for the National Aquarium. With Margot’s ability to spearhead the development and execution of the Aquarium’s marketing plan, paying close attention to the financial and strategic objectives, Margot was able to tackle milestones that the organization had never seen before. According to the National Aquarium’s most recent Economic Impact Study, nearly 90 percent of Aquarium visitors report that the Aquarium is their primary reason for visiting Baltimore. The Aquarium is also responsible for more than $360 million in annual economic activity in Baltimore City, and nearly $455 million statewide.

Margot is a mover and shaker internationally “who dedicated herself to bringing visitors from around the world to Baltimore and Maryland,” said Sandy Turner, Tourism Director for Cecil County. Roughly five in six visitors to the National Aquarium come from outside the Baltimore region and about one-third of those visitors stay overnight in the area. Thus, resulting in approximately $100 million annually spent in transportation, shopping, and dining by visitors.

For more information on the Maryland Travel & Tourism Summit, visit


About Maryland Tourism Coalition: For over 50 years, the Maryland Tourism Coalition has represented and united varied segments of tour and travel, bringing together the entire industry to enhance business growth and to promote the development of Maryland. They promote business, offer professional development of Maryland. They promote business, offer professional development activities, and enhance our economic impact for the benefit of all Marylanders. Maryland Tourism Coalition works on behalf of its members to affect positive change and defend the industry. Through direct advocacy, Tourism Day and educational sessions, and annual Maryland Travel & Tourism Summit, members inform and engage elected officials. Diversity is their strength, unity is their power. For more information on MTC and MTTS, please contact Executive Director, Ruth Toomey at 443-563-1315 or