Visitors to Maryland spent $17.3 billion on travel expenses in 2016, up 2.7 percent from the previous year, according to a report released today by the Maryland Office of Tourism Development, an agency of the Maryland Department of Commerce. In addition, Maryland welcomed more than 42 million visitors in 2016, a four percent increase from 2015 which also outpaced the growth of national visitation of 2.6 percent in 2016.
"Maryland's tourism industry continues to be a powerful economic driver for our Maryland, proving good jobs for tens of thousands of our citizens and billions in revenue for our state," said Governor Larry Hogan. "Our continued investment in tourism will ensure we are able to provide a great experience to our visitors, as well as valuable returns for many communities across the state."
According to the report, more than 62 percent of visitor spending focused on three areas: food and beverage, lodging, and transportation. This spending has generated $2.35 billion in state and local tax revenues. More than 146,000 Marylanders were directly employed in the tourism industry in 2016, making it the 10th largest private sector employer in the state. The industry supported a payroll of $6 billion, which is an increase of 5.2 percent from 2015.
"The state's vibrant tourism economy demonstrates what we are doing well," said Rick Howarth, chairman of Maryland's Tourism Development Board and park president of Six Flags America. "From new restaurants, hotels, and art galleries to historical sites, outdoor recreation, and our beloved Chesapeake Bay, the state and its partners continue to enhance visitor experiences, while increasing Maryland's product offerings."
The Economic Impact of Tourism in Maryland – Calendar Year 2016 Tourism Satellite Account was conducted by Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company. While the results of this report are only available on an annual retrospective basis, many performance metrics, including the Tourism Promotion Act sales tax codes, are available on a more frequent and timely basis. The visitor numbers were collected by DK Shifflet.