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Maryland Tourism industry outperforming national trends

Maryland Tourism industry outperforming national trends
Increase in hotel room demand and jobs

Baltimore (Sept. 1, 2010): Maryland Office of Tourism officials announced today that the State's travel and tourism industry continues to outpace national economic and employment trends. Increases again this year in hotel room demand and jobs are helping to stabilize the State's economy.
"The strength of Maryland's tourism industry is helping us to outperform neighboring states and the nation in key economic indicators," said Governor Martin O'Malley "Despite these difficult times, the travel and tourism industry has more private sector jobs than we did 12 months ago, with concentrated gains in leisure and hospitality. Maryland gained 2,600 net leisure and hospitality jobs from June 2010 to July 2010 and the industry has moved towards recovery in the past year with the addition of 18,500 jobs in Maryland since July 2009. Our State continues to be in a better position than other states to create new jobs, rebound from the national recession and return to prosperity."
"The growth in visitation, hotel room demand and employment can be attributed to several factors: strategic regional promotional efforts - both traditional and digital; the Land Of... campaign - which promotes Maryland's diverse landscapes and attractions; and the new interactive tourism map which has helped more than 10,000 web site visitors in the first two months since its launch," added Margot Amelia, executive director for the Maryland Office of Tourism.
Here is a snapshot of how the State is fairing:
Maryland welcomed more than 29 million visitors in 2009 - up from 28 million visitors in 2008.
Demand for Maryland lodging is up for the first seven months of 2010 by 9 percent, ahead of the average 7 percent growth in room demand across the nation, according to Smith Travel Research, Inc., a prominent research group used by the U.S. hotel industry.
Also through July, a recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that Maryland's leisure and hospitality industry posted a 3 percent gain in average number of jobs for the seven-month period. The number of net jobs in the leisure and hospitality industry in the U.S. declined 0.6 percent during this period. Maryland gained 2,600 net leisure and hospitality jobs from June 2010 to July 2010; the industry has moved towards recovery in the past year with the addition of 18,500 jobs in Maryland since July 2009.
In FY 2010, Maryland's tourism-related sales tax codes generated more than $ 787 million in revenue - with more than $328 million directly attributed to tourism, according to the Comptroller of Maryland's Bureau of Revenue Estimates. Tourism-related sales taxes declined at a rate of 1.4 percent, compared to a 2.5 percent decline for overall sales-tax collections.
Ocean City officials estimate that visitation is up 3.5 percent over last year for the calendar year through the end of August.
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 Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization whose mission is to help attract visitors to Hagerstown and Washington County. The CVB helps to create vibrant growth for the local economy by promoting, developing, and expanding the local visitor industry (www.marylandmemories.com). Washington County is part of the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area (www.heartofthecivilwar.org), and the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area (http://hallowedground.org). Washington County is also part of the Quad-State Tourism Coalition, a four-state tourism group along I-81. For more information, see: www.quadstate81.com. Visitors spent about $300 million in Washington County in 2009, which is an increase of more than 3-percent. More than 6,000 people work in the tourism industry in Washington County.

This information was provided by the Hagerstown/Washington County Convention and Visitor's Bureau - www.marylandmemories.com

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