Snapshot of Maryland Tourism:
Outperforming National Trends as Industry Employment Gains
BALTIMORE (September 2, 2009) – Maryland’s tourism industry is outpacing national economic and employment trends, with increases this year in room demand, tax revenue and jobs helping to stabilize the State’s economy, Maryland Office of Tourism officials announced today.
“Maryland’s tourism industry continues to be one of the bright spots in our economy, continuing to grow jobs and boost tax revenues,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “While our State continues to face fiscal challenges, the revenue and jobs generated by tourism are significant. The strength of Maryland tourism helps explain why our State is continuing to outperform many neighboring states and the nation in key economic indicators and why Maryland jobs grew by 10,000 from June to July 2009.”
“Our growth in visitation, room demand, sales-tax revenue and employment can be attributed to several items: the opening of Gaylord National Resort in Prince George’s County, the best Memorial Day weekend in the past 16 years at Ocean City, and our own regional promotional efforts, which have included social marketing and continuation of the Pretty. Close. campaign,” said Margot Amelia, executive director of the Office of Tourism.
Here is a snapshot of how the state is faring:
• Maryland welcomed more than 28 million visitors in 2008 – up from 27.2 million visitors in 2007.
• Demand for Maryland lodging is up for the first six months of 2009 by 0.4 percent, compared to an average 8 percent decline in room demand across the nation, according to Smith Travel Research, Inc., a prominent research group used by the U.S. hotel industry.
• A recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that Maryland’s hotel industry posted a 1.5 percent gain in the total number of jobs, from FY 2008 to FY 2009. More recently, Maryland gained 10,000 jobs from June 2009 to July 2009, the greatest month-to-month increase in jobs statewide since April 2005, which included a gain of 4,400 jobs in Leisure and Hospitality.
• In FY 2009, Maryland’s tourism-related retail sales tax codes generated a non-adjusted 8 percent increase in revenue over FY 2008. The overall growth rate for all state retail sales tax codes during FY 2009 was 3.1 percent.
• Ocean City officials estimate that visitation is up 6.8 percent for the period of Memorial Day through July 31 this year, compared to 2008.
The Maryland Office of Tourism is an agency of the Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts – part of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.
The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing workforce training and financial assistance to Maryland companies. The Department promotes the State's many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development and international investment, trade and tourism. Because they are major economic generators, the Department also supports the Arts, film production, sports and other special events. For more information, visit www.choosemaryland.org.