FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                 CONTACT:      Susan O’Brien
March 3, 2017                                                                                                         443-254-6000



Governor & Comptroller also declared March as Maryland Wine Month

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland Tourism Coalition (MTC), led by Board Chair Michael Haynie and Executive Director Wini Roche, today presented Governor Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot its coveted Tourism Advocate award during the annual Tourism Day in Annapolis. The Maryland Park Commission also presented Senator Ed Kasemeyer with the State Park Legislative Champion award in honor of his support of Maryland State Forests and Parks.

“With one signature on an Executive Order to start the school year after Labor Day, Governor Hogan has enabled Maryland families to enjoy their summers again. His action, along with Comptroller Franchot’s longtime support, will help thousands of mostly locally owned, family-operated businesses regain lost income,” said Ms. Roche.

The Governor’s executive order, signed on August 31, 2016, declared that all Maryland public schools begin the 2017-2018 school year after Labor Day and end by June 15.

“Tourism is a driving force in Maryland’s economy that creates jobs, supports our small businesses, and generates billions of dollars in revenue to our state each year,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “It has and will always be a top priority of our administration,” said Governor Hogan.

For several years, Comptroller Franchot had championed the effort after meeting with business leaders from Ocean City, Deep Creek Lake and other vacation destinations around Maryland.

“Marylanders overwhelmingly support starting school after Labor Day,” said Comptroller Franchot. “Families get more time to spend together, small businesses see more sales, and by ending by June 15th, students experience a more compact academic schedule that maximizes learning without constant disruptions.”

The awards were the highlight of the day, which brings together more than 300 tourism industry partners to meet one-on-one with their legislators and discuss the Maryland Department of Commerce’s Tourism Development and Marketing budget, as well as other bills pending that impact tourism.

After the awards ceremony, Governor Hogan and Comptroller Franchot officially proclaimed March as Maryland Wine Month to showcase Maryland wine growers, a significant contributor to Maryland’s tourism economy.

Maryland tourism is the state’s 10th largest private sector employer with more than 144,000 employees. Over 40 million visitors to Maryland spent roughly $17 billion in the state in 2015, according to a recent study.

A full economic impact of tourism in Maryland study, recently completed by nationally renowned Oxford Economics is available here.