This week is the Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit and we were excited to announce that visitor spending in the state is continuing to grow, up 2.1 percent to more than $17.7 billion in 2017. In fact, our more than 41.5 million annual visitors help generate $2.4 billion in taxes, and save every Maryland household $1,100.
Tourism is Maryland’s 10th largest private sector employer. The study showed that there was a 2 percent increase in employment to 149,000 in 2017 and a 4 percent increase in wages to $6.3 billion. While overall visitation decreased slightly to 41.5 million in 2017 from 42.1 million the previous year based on a report by DK Shifflet and Associates, there was a significant increase in visitors from targeted markets.
Starting in 2015, the Maryland Office of Tourism Development began promoting Maryland as a travel destination to a number of states and cities in the region, and last year reported visitors from New York have increased 10 percent, with visitors from Pittsburgh up 4 percent, and visitors from Washington, D.C. up 3 percent.
“Our marketing strategy of promoting Maryland as a tourism destination in key markets is paying off, with increases in spending on food and beverages, as well as lodging and vacation rentals,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “We are continuing to work on enhancing the visitor experience, with a number of new tours like the Frederick Douglass Driving Tour and the Great Chesapeake Bay Loop, which celebrate our rich history and connection to the Chesapeake Bay.”