News

Maryland Tourism Coalition names Toomey as executive director

The Maryland Tourism Coalition (MTC) announces that Ruth Toomey is its new executive director, effective June 1, 2018. Toomey, a longtime professional in the Greater Baltimore/Anne Arundel County hospitality industry, has been an active member and board member of the tourism/hospitality trade organization since 2009. She most recently served as MTC’s Membership chair.

“Tourism is one of Maryland’s top 10 economic engines and MTC needs a strong professional to guide our members in advocacy and policy to support an industry that employs nearly 150,000 Marylanders,” said Michael Haynie, MTC Board chair. “Ruth knows this community from the small business perspective, as well as the large retail perspective, and has been committed to MTC ‘s success for nearly 10 years. She is an asset to our mission and we look forward to growing our organization under her leadership.”

Ms. Toomey, who most recently served as director of Sales & Marketing for An Extraordinar Limousine in Glen Burnie, received her degree from High Point University in North Carolina. Prior to this position, she served as the Guest Services manager for one of the largest retail outlets in the region, Arundel Mills. She has more than 24 years of hospitality and customer service management experience, focused on marketing and communications.

“Serving as executive director is a tremendous opportunity to share my passion for promoting and supporting the wonderful small businesses that make up the backbone of the tourism industry in Maryland,” said Ms. Toomey. “I look forward to expanding MTC’s advocacy efforts across the state to help attract even more tourists to every corner of Maryland and grow this $17 billion economy.”

Ms. Toomey was raised and currently lives in Glen Burnie, Md. and is a graduate of Archbishop Spalding High School.

 Her email is ruth@mdtourism.org

 

Maryland’s Tourism Person of the Year: Michael Haynie!

Michael Haynie of Parkway Management – Wins Maryland’s Tourism Person of the Year

378h Annual Tourism Awards highlighted recent three-day annual summit in Cambridge
CAMBRIDGE, MD – The annual Maryland Tourism Awards Ceremony highlighted the 38th Annual Maryland Tourism & Travel Summit, held last week at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa & Marina . The summit, sponsored and managed by the Maryland Tourism Coalition (MTC), drew together hundreds of the state’s top tourism industry professionals for the latest discussions on tourism trends and strategy for increasing visitation and spending in Maryland.

Michael Haynie, a long time Tourism Professional, won the coveted Tourism Person of the Year award. Michael has devoted his entire professional career to the lodging and hospitality industry. Throughout his professional career, not only has shown but spoken his commitment to the tourism industry in Maryland. He is always on the front-line fighting for the tourism industry whether it be on a panel, media interview, in Annapolis before the legislature and has gone far as the highest position in the state to give the facts that they need to hear about “tourism.” He was in the front-line fighting with the Comptroller for Post-Labor Day. He saw and knew what the impact of that would be on tourism. He worked to get that passed and it came to fruition and it has made a great impact on tourism in the State of Maryland. I can personally say that this nomination is way overdue for someone who has the passion beyond and within his soul. Michael is a big reason and example of why “tourism” in Maryland is where it is today.

Michael served as Chair of the Maryland Tourism Coalition 2017-2018. In both of his years as chair he was instrumental in securing the Governor and Lt. Governor at three straight Tourism Day events in Annapolis. He served on the Comptrollers Task force for Tap Reform. Served on the Governor’s Task Force for a Post Labor Day School Start (and unbeknownst to many was the driving force behind the task force recommendation and subsequent executive order). Michael ha testified in the legislature more than 20 times over the course of 13 years for various Tourism related funding bills, initiatives, etc. Most recently, Michael helped secure an additional $1 Million dollars from the Governor for the Maryland Tourism Development Board. He has volunteered hundreds of hours in the Public School systems Hospitality and Culinary related schools serving many times as chair of the board. Michael was named the Tourism Mentor of the year in 2007 and was named the MHLA Hotelier of the Year in 2009. He serves on the Hospitality Boards for Morgan State University, Community College of Baltimore and has served on the board of Anne Arundel Community College Hospitality School.

Michael Haynie has been leading the break-down in some of the cultural and geographical barriers in state tourism and has been the force behind in bringing many people and businesses into the mainstream of tourism and understands the need to advocate for the promotion and marketing of tourism in our state.

MTC also presented Stuart Rice of Maryland Tourism Coalition with the MTC Judge’s Award. Mrs. Rice has been the Administrative Assistant of MTC since 2013. In that time she toted enough MTC “stuff” that if laid end to end, would circle the globe. She worked throughout an illness that would make most of us hide in our beds. But not her. She wore her head scarf proudly, went through all of her treatments like a champ, and never, not one single time missed a beat with MTC. She embodies all the best qualities of a true professional. Without her guidance and grace over the years, I‘m not sure where MTC would have landed without her.

The full list of award winners is as follows:

MARYLAND TOURISM COALITION AWARDS

  • Best Product or Event (Small) – Annapolis Sailing Schooner Woodwinds – Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Annapolis Sailing Cruises: Schooner Woodwind.
  • Best Product or Event (Medium) – Carroll County Tourism – The Carroll County Barn Quilt Trail – It represents the county’s agrarian history by including the local farmers and their barns and enhances the visitor experience by providing art, history, and a scenic driving tour which weaves in and out of small towns showcasing the Main Streets and their small businesses.
  • Best Product or Event (Large) – Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce – Ocean City Key Card Book, was produce to be handed directly to the guests upon arrival to their hotel or vacation rental. Inside this booklet are 24 colorful advertisements for area businesses, along with coupons and a welcome message. The advertisers in this piece see a direct impact and increase in business by tracking the coupons or the “where did you find out about us” when they serve guests.
  • Best Printed Promotional Material Award – Visit Frederick “Explore the Outdoors” aims to give visitors a quick glance at the wide variety of outdoor recreation available in the county by showing eye catching images, small bits of engaging copy, and references to locations where more detailed information can be found. Each section of the brochure features a different type of outdoor recreation available in the county.
  • Best Destination Guide – Visit Frederick – An inspirational piece, the guide shows a variety of stunning images and eye-catching design. As a tool, the guide offers easy to understand maps, listings, and other resources as a quick reference for those who prefer to use a printed piece. The guide includes a “Bucket List”, a roundup of the county’s specific must do activities.
  • Best Media and Public Relations Campaign – The National Aquarium in St. Baltimore, Md. was honored for their campaign, “The Water is Calling”. Celebrating the primal connection between humans and the ocean, this campaign was truly innovative in how it leveraged and layered traditional and digital media, utilizing some of the leading-edge technologies available in the digital space such as video creative in Facebook carousel ads. The campaign generated awareness with 105,039,476 million impressions, directly contributed to 30,505 online transactions, drove 802,565 sessions on aqua.org and increased the eCommerce conversion rate by 13.94 percent year-over-year. More tangibly, the campaign directly contributed to a 3 percent year over-year increase to general admission attendance during peak summer season. Additionally, they saw a 4 percent year-over-year boost in attendance in September.
  • Best Website – Allegany County Tourism – The previous website creative was 14 years old, unresponsive to mobile view, and ill-maintained. The new website visually represents the new brand and spirit of the county. It features a platform that allows for unlimited users and business listings, customizable search features, monetization, and a polygon geolocation search tool. Social media integration was incorporated using a third party, Crowd Riff. Tourism also integrated Ride With GPS, which features interactive road cycling routes. The Blog, which was previously hosted on a separate URL, was migrated to the new website to increase visitor’s length of time on website, provide digital consistency, and generate content.
  • Best Use of Social Media – Visit Howard County ‘s Farms Food & Fun is new digital marketing campaign around its farms, breweries, farm-to-table restaurants, and all things ag. The new campaign included a relaunch of a new blog on the Visit HowardCounty.com website, social media ads, print and eblast campaigns with Recreation News and Edible DC
  • Best Digital Campaign – Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum was honored for their Waterfront Wedding at CBMM. This campaign included digital advertising of various sizes across a network of websites, all of which then directed visitors back to their website, where they had the option to download their official wedding guide for additional information and details. Viewers directed back to the site were also given appropriate contact information to interact with staff to further answer questions and promote the venue. The three-month campaign averaged 700 clicks per month over first two months, and substantially increased web traffic and direct email/phone inquiries. They booked weddings on 100% of its available dates for 2018.
  • Cooperative Partnership Award – Town of Ocean City, Worcester County Tourism, Wicomico County Tourism and Maryland Office of Tourism – This year’s award is a celebration of American music, arts and craftsmanship. Although the festival would take place in Salisbury, Maryland, participating partners recognized that the size and scope of the National Folk Festival would generate a positive impact for the eastern shore as a whole. Participating partners applied for and received a public private partnership grant through the Maryland Office of Tourism. By working together, they carried out an expanded campaign, reaching four different markets. The 2018 event, despite a weekend of bad weather, still drew over 60,000 according to festival host, the City of Salisbury
  • Visionary Impact Award – Visit Hagerstown/Washington County Tourism and Maryland Sports Commission for their work on the USA Cycling Amateur National Road Championship. To bridge the gap in group business that had once been a well-known convention destination, they had to absorb the loss of the convention business and grow group travel. They envisioned holding a national championship to drive group business for the future and it worked! Coordination of efforts with government agencies, private sectors and CVBs is a rare and often difficult undertaking. Because of the success of the 2018 event, they are confident in submitting and executing additional sports events with expertise they acquired as a major sports event planner. Led by a new vision of how to adjust to the new normal for their county, points to an unprecedented level of doing what it takes to convert tourism sales and growth.
  • New Professional of the Year – Erin Coulter of Buttonwood Beach RV Resort – Erin is eager to please, quick to smile, and anxious to learn while offering her own ideas and solutions. She handles thousands of clients through the summer month as each of them were the only thing she had to do, creating that connection which makes for a great guest experience. In the tourism and hospitality industry, the success or failure of our businesses and destinations depends on service. She has the magical ability, that’s hard to describe but easily felt, to provide exceptional customer service.
  • Best Small Business of the Year – State Ventures, LLC. developed a network of regional guides, anchored by Maryland.com, and includes Ocean City.com, Annapolis.com, College Park.com and ShoreCraftBeer.com. This company leverages decades of experience and an extensive network of sites and contacts to help grow tourism businesses both online and offline. They have recently partnered with the Tri-County Council to receive grant funding from the USDA to assist in further marketing Shore Craft Beer Vacations.
  • Tourism Volunteer of the Year Award – Jackie Panowicz of Custom Media – Jackie is the first to volunteer to help whenever we need someone. She’s assisted in all our events throughout the year and has also held many different committee chair positions for MTTS. In addition to being committee chair, she also volunteers for other committees, usually serving on 2-3 more.
  • Audrey Davenport Hospitality Person of the Year – Claudette McDonald of Watermark Journey. Her countless positive reviews glow on Trip Advisor, Google and many other platforms. She is devoted to education by not only bringing the classroom to life but also stimulating the curiosity to learn. She works hand in hand with teachers in order to engage thousands of students for a lifetime of travel, exploration and love of learning. Each day she has made out tourism community a place to visit and a dream for our younger generation to hope to come back and visit.

How Will You Spend Your Longer Summer?

This Memorial Day, the Maryland Tourism Coalition (MTC) encourages families to visit the many historic battlefields and war memorials throughout our state and to take a moment to reflect on these outstanding Americans.

Memorial Day is a time to honor the memories of all service members who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our great country. Memorial Day Weekend is also the “unofficial” start of summer. Thanks to an early end of the school year because of our mild winter for most school systems and starting school after Labor Day, Summer 2017 should be a record setting season for our many small and family-owned tourism businesses.

As previously reported in a 2013 study prepared by the Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates, starting the school year after Labor Day could result in as much as $75 million in additional direct economic activity.

These revenues are critically needed dollars for our state budget to re-invest in our priority areas and make Maryland the best state in the nation to live, work, raise a family, and of course, play.

To help kick off the summer season, MTC would like to share with you some of reasons tourism works for Maryland,

#10: Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, Cambridge
The newest Maryland state park, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center provides visitors with a rare opportunity to reflect on the importance of Harriet Tubman’s legacy and retrace her quest for freedom.  This one-of-a-kind attraction promises to bring people from around the world to rural Dorchester County. Explore beautiful natural landscapes and low-lying marshes where Tubman not only escaped from slavery, but also escorted other slaves to freedom along the network of secret routes and safe houses.  Tubman returned to Maryland — risking her own freedom — multiple times, ultimately leading approximately 70 people out of bondage, according to historians. The Visitor Center and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway are a must see attraction this summer.

#9: Maryland’s Other 52 State Parks
The Harriet Tubman center and its surrounding property became Maryland’s 53rd state park when it opened this spring.  Maryland is blessed to have so many state protected lands available for public enjoyment – from hiking nearly 3,000 feet up in Dan’s Mountain State Park in Western Maryland to paddling the river trail at sea level in Janes Island State Park on the lower Eastern Shore, our state parks definitely showcase “America in Miniature!” MTC celebrates our state parks not only for their $650 million in economic impact, but for offering world-class recreation and relaxation for visitors and locals alike for more than 100 years. Best of all, nearly every Marylander is just minutes away from a Maryland State Park.

#8: Eat and Drink Maryland Style
The largest slice of Maryland’s tourism pie is a category we call Culinary Tourism. This is really just a fancy way of saying eating and drinking while traveling.  And boy do we have this one covered. With the blue crab population bursting along with the number of brewery barrels produced on the rise in Maryland, our visitors will be picking and toasting all over Maryland. Eating and drinking Maryland-style is not only the top activity enjoyed by visitors who come to Maryland, us locals are also pretty fond of our food. So wherever you are in Maryland, you are never far from your favorite crab house or one of Maryland’s outstanding wineries, breweries or distilleries. So go ahead and sprinkle on more Old Bay –because you won’t stay thirsty for long my friends.

#7: Maryland’s Historic Battlefields and War Memorials
Maryland is home to many pivotal battles of the American Revolution, Civil War and more. Take a moment to reflect on the service to our great country by the service members who fought for our freedom. Also, you can visit many war memorials in Maryland, including the World War II Memorial overlooking the United States Naval Academy and historic Downtown Annapolis at the base of the U.S, Naval Academy Scenic Severn River Bridge (MD 450).

#6: Maryland’s Main Streets
From Easton to Ellicott City to St. Mary’s City, our main street and their unique merchants have so much to offer aside from quaint and historic architecture. Maryland’s Main Streets and downtown districts are sought-after areas by visitors who are looking for the unique qualities of an area and an authentic experience. Visitors spend more than $17 billion in small businesses every year sustaining the mom and pop shops that we Marylanders sometimes take for granted. When most everything can be bought online these days, MTC is grateful to the many Maryland small businesses that are attracting thousands of visitors to Main Streets across our state!

#5: Maryland’s Heritage Areas
MTC extends a big shout out to the 13 Maryland Heritage Areas and the hundreds of individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations, and governments that continue to form partnerships and regional collaborations to preserve the best of Maryland’s historic sites, towns and enduring traditions. Visitors who travel to Maryland for heritage tourism are likely to stay twice as long and spend more money.

#4 IPW – Maryland Welcomes the World
In early June, the United States Travel Association’s IPW, an international travel event, will take place in the Capital Region, which creates an opportunity to sell Maryland to a global marketplace right here in our own backyard. Travel buyers from 1,000 countries and six different continents will be exploring the Capitol Region including Maryland and could book as much as $4.7 billion in travel for the United States. With the current state of travel in a precarious situation, the timing couldn’t be better for the United States to welcome the world and boost this $2 trillion dollar industry in America. The Maryland Office of Tourism will be fully engaged in this event and has been working for more than two years on its plans to promote Maryland at IPW.

#3: A Longer Summer for Maryland
Thanks to years of perseverance by industry professionals and business owners, and with the support of State Senator Jim Mathias of Ocean City, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and Governor Larry Hogan, Marylanders will now have an extra two weeks or more to enjoy the many splendors of summer. Regardless of any increase in tourism revenues, you cannot put a price on the value of having more time to spend with family. So go ahead and make those travel plans for August because there’ll be plenty of time now for back to school shopping.

#2: A Maryland Economic Engine
Tourism is the tenth largest private sector employer in Maryland with payroll topping $5.7 billion each year. Tourism revenue topped $17 billion in 2015 an increase of 3.5 percent from the year before generating nearly $2.3 billion in state and local tax revenues. More than 40.5 million people visited Maryland in 2015 an increase of six percent from 2014. The power of tourism is so much more than statistics and tax revenues! But don’t take our word for it, explore Maryland for yourself and create and share your own Top Tourism Spots in the Old Line State.

#1: The Many Faces of Tourism
Our #1 reason to celebrate all things tourism is the many faces of tourism in our state the 143,000-person workforce that pushes our industry forward every day. You know what we’re talking about: the front desk clerk that welcomed you after along plane ride or the shop owner who shared a personal story about his family-owned business. There’s also the restaurant manager who worked double shifts that day, and the tour guide who brought a historic neighborhood to life. This summer, be a visitor in your own backyard. Maryland’s many attractions are looking forward to seeing YOUR face.

Wrapping up an exciting 2017 Legislative Session

Several dozen tourism industry professionals heard from some of the state’s leading business advocates at the Maryland Tourism Coalition’s Legislative Wrap Up in Annapolis on April 26. Our panelists reflected on the inner workings of key pieces of legislation that will impact businesses and tourism – with most of the discussion focused on the passage of Maryland’s paid sick leave bill.

Thank you to Amy Roher, Maryland Hotel Lodging Association – MHLA, Kevin Atticks, Grow & Fortify; Cailey Locklear Tolle, Maryland Retailers Association and Larry Richardson Maryland Chamber of Commerce. And of course, our moderator and MTC Legislative Chair, Chris Riehl from Baltimore Rent-a-tour

We also must thank our presenting sponsor for making this all happen! Comcast Spotlight! MTC Member Deb Travers and her crew presented the benefits of Comcast Spotlight before we launched into our panel discussion.

Perhaps what everyone was most excited for was the reception following the engaging discussion on the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel’s spectacular rooftop deck overlooking the beautiful Annapolis harbor and city dock area. There may have been a few people enjoying their signature “Pain Killer” cocktail as well! Thank you to the hotel’s team for a job well done!

And finally, after a few days of rain and clouds, the skies cleared toward the end of our event – just in time for a wonderful cruise aboard the Schooner Woodwind, docked just outside the hotel.

Our work is just beginning to strategize how to best prepare for the 2018 General Assembly. Workgroups will be meeting over the interim to flush out issues associated with legislation passed and to prepare for the return of bills that didn’t pass this year. We encourage MTC members to join the Legislative Committee and become involved. We need all of the help we can get to increase funding for tourism marketing, protect small businesses and strengthen our presence in the halls of Annapolis.

Enjoy these photos of the event courtesy of KRR Photography Limited

$12,794 grant funds melding of the hip and historic for Civil War geocaching trail

 DATE:   April 4, 2017                  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:  Carol D’Agostino, (410) 604-2319; carol@purplecatpr.com

$12,794 grant funds melding of the hip and historic for Civil War geocaching trail

FREDERICK, MD – Marketing your strengths is important whether you are a business or a region. For many rural communities and regions throughout Maryland the real assets lie in the beauty of their landscape and the richness of their history. The Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, one of the state’s 13 heritage areas, decided to leverage those assets to create a unique visitor experience to stimulate an interest in history while also channeling tourism dollars into the regional economy.

The heritage tourism and economic development project called the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area Geocache Trail is funded by a $12,794 Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF) grant, which is administered by the Rural Maryland Council (RMC). The grant funded the development of 16 “treasure sites” or geocaches along a Civil War rich trail stretching through three counties: Carroll, Frederick and Washington. Participants use GPS-enabled devices to find items hidden in particular locations. Think of it as outdoor treasure hunting where the hip and historic meet.

“We have been thinking a lot about how to make history relevant to more people,” says Auni Gelles,

assistant director, Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, and grant project coordinator. “In general, people tend to think about history around big landmark years like the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and bicentennials. Geocaching and using technology are strategies that we can use to make history relevant to visitors and locals alike all the time,” she adds.
The geocaching trail was created with dual purposes: to boost attendance at existing historical sites and to create an economic development impact in the region where they are located. The trail officially opened on October 1, 2016. “We reviewed our first set of economic data when we were at about 180,” says Gelles. “Approximately 89 percent of the people reported purchasing a meal or snack while here; 71 percent bought gasoline and 8 percent spent a night in a hotel. We expect the numbers to continue to support that this project is having an economic impact in the region,” she adds.

Creating impact to a region and collaborating with partners were two aspects that made this project particularly attractive to the funder. “This project impacts five Main Street communities in three counties,” says Charlotte Davis, executive director of the Rural Maryland Council. “It’s continued economic development effects through visitor spending in Westminster, Taneytown, Mt. Airy, Frederick and Middletown is an important side benefit of a clever history education project. It has been great to see organizations like the Maryland Geocaching Society as well as the multiple historic sites and county tourism offices come together to develop this project,” she adds.

For the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area the real magic of the project has been its success in igniting new interest in history not only for visitors, but also for locals as well. “Participants are encouraged to leave comments when they turn in their Geocaching Passports to receive their geocoin rewards when they complete the trail. We not only have heard from visitors, some who have traveled from other states, but also from locals who have spent years driving past historic sites and for the first time stopped to do the geocache trail,” says Gelles.
One of 13 designated heritage areas in Maryland, the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area serves three counties and 24 municipalities. It’s mission is to promote the stewardship of its historic, cultural, and natural Civil War resources; encourage superior visitor experiences; and stimulate tourism, economic prosperity, and educational development, thereby improving the quality of life in our community for the benefit of both residents and visitors. For more information on the Geocaching Trail, contact (301) 600-4031, visit       www.heartofthecivilwar.org/geo-trail or email info@heartofthecivilwar.org

Founded in 1994, the Rural Maryland Council serves as the state’s federally designated rural development council and functions as a voice for rural Maryland, advocating for and helping rural communities and businesses across the state to flourish and to gain equity to its suburban and urban counterparts.  To learn more call (410) 841-5774, email rmc.mda@maryland.gov or connect with the Rural Maryland Council at facebook.com/RuralMaryland or on Twitter @RuralMaryland.

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Geocache user “Pathfinder Mark” and his daughter after finding a geocache at Emerald Hill Park in Carroll County.

More than 100 “cachers” attended the official launch of the Heart of the Civil War GeoTrail at the Frederick Visitor Center on October 1, 2016.

Support of Maryland Beer at Senate Hearing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 29, 2017

CONTACT: Susan O’Brien, 443-254-6000, susanobrienpr@verizon.net

MARYLAND TOURISM COALITION & CITY BREW TOURS BALTIMORE

 TESTIFY IN SUPPORT OF MARYLAND BEER AT SENATE HEARING TODAY IN ANNAPOLIS

Craft Beverage Tourism is one of the fastest growing segments of Maryland Tourism

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Maryland Tourism Coalition Executive Director Winifred Roche will testify today in support of HB 1283 with amendments that allow the Maryland craft brew industry to continue its growth and contribution to Maryland’s economy and tourism.  Joining her to testify will be Barry Hansen, chief operating officer for City Brew Tours. City Brew Tours, based in Boston, operates City Brew Tours Baltimore.

“Maryland’s breweries, as well as our wineries and distilleries, are one of the fastest growing segments of our state’s tourism industry. Their products’ exceptional quality and successful marketing campaigns are attracting thousands of visitors to Maryland,” said Ms. Roche. “Look no further than City Brew Tours, which opened its doors in Baltimore to accommodate the growing interest in craft beverage tourism. This company is just one of many companies that demonstrate the impact of tourism on Maryland’s economy. If this bill passes without amendments, it will set back years of growth by these small businesses, most of which are family owned and operated. To pass legislation that deliberately limits their ability to produce and sell their product is terrible for business and for tourism.”

Mr. Hansen added, “We hope to grow our small business in Baltimore in tandem with these breweries and we hope to expand in other areas of the state. Passing this bill without amendments would prevent our business from continuing to operate in Baltimore at all and would have far-reaching consequences preventing growth of small business. City Brew Tours selected Baltimore as its fifth operating city due to the growth in craft breweries and the amount of people looking to visit them. Further restrictions will unravel the industry, which has only just begun to blossom in Maryland. When we launched in Boston in 2012, Massachusetts has 49 breweries. Regulations that have been passed in recent years paved the way for brewery expansion. Last year, Massachusetts had 84 breweries contributing an economic impact of $282 per capita compared to Maryland’s 60 craft breweries with only $150 per capita economic impact.”

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.           

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MTC Presents Tourism Advocate Award to Governor & Comptroller

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

 

MARYLAND TOURISM COALITION PRESENTS TOURISM ADVOCATE AWARD TO GOVERNOR & COMPTROLLER FOR THEIR SUPPORT OF “LET SUMMER BE SUMMER” CAMPAIGN

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.

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Destination Maryland 2017: The Official Guide to Maryland Travel is Available Now

Produced by the Maryland Office of Tourism Development, Destination Maryland is an inspirational travel guide that combines stunning photography and stories written by Maryland writers.

This year’s guide includes works from authors who have also written for publications including National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian, and Washingtonian, and offers travel ideas including adventures of all kinds, road trip suggestions and tips from Maryland experts including celebrity chefs Brian and Michael Voltaggio. Destination Maryland is available at state Welcome Centers, restaurants, and other tourist locations and can be ordered free online at visitmaryland.org.

Celebrate Winter Dining During Restaurant Weeks Across Maryland

It’s a great time to be a foodie with six great restaurant weeks on the menu in January. Enjoy seasonal specials and prix fixe menu options at
Baltimore Restaurant Week, January 13-22;
Bethesda Magazine Restaurant Week, January 13-22;
National Harbor Restaurant Week, January 14-20;
Harford County Restaurant Week, January 20-29; and
Baltimore County Restaurant Week, January 20-February 4.

Maryland Hotel Lodging Association Calls for “Stars of the Industry” Nominations

The Maryland Hotel Lodging Association has put out a call for nominations for their 28th annual “Stars of the Industry” awards. Nominations fall under three categories: Employee Awards, Lodging Property Achievement Awards, and Allied Member Awards, and must be received by January 13. Award winners will be announced at the Stars of the Industry Awards Luncheon to be held on Tuesday, February 7 at The Hotel at Arundel Preserve in Hanover. For more information follow this link.