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October 19, 2011

Maryland Travel Trends Continue to Improve

by Andrea Vernot

As Maryland’s high temperatures begin breaking records, Maryland has broken its own visitation record. Maryland welcomed 32.2 million domestic travelers in 2010, a 10.7 percent increase from 2009 and an 18.3 percent increase from 2007’s 27.2 million visitors, according to a national survey of U.S. travelers conducted by D.K. Shifflet and Associates.

Tourism is a major generator of jobs, employing more than 134,000 Marylanders. The Shifflet data underscores the success of TFA’s strategic regional promotional efforts that started in 2008 by focusing marketing efforts in key feeder markets, year-round communication through digital and traditional channels, and a pivotal image and awareness study with prospective visitors.

The fruits of these labors have paid off, with growth occurring in all segments, increased market share of 16.9 percent since 2007, and an additional 5 million Maryland visitors from 2007 to 2010 – substantially outperforming the nation’s visitation trends. “These numbers prove what we already suspected working in heart of the tourist-rich Inner Harbor – that our investments in visitor experiences continue to provide valuable returns to tourism communities here and across the state,” commented Christian Johansson, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development.

This increase in visitors to the state is supported by increased hotel performance metrics in 2010, as well as an 8 percent increase in tourism tax revenue the last six months of 2010, according to the Maryland Comptroller’s Bureau of Revenue Estimates.

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