As tourist destinations from different countries all over the world start to reopen after being caught up with the COVID-19 pandemic, Southern Maryland won’t also come last when it comes to boosting its tourism economy once again. Whether it’s just a simple stroll at Ocean City’s Boardwalk or escaping to a cabin at Deep Creek Lake, any type of vacation experienced by the tourists makes an essential impact on Southern Maryland’s economy.

Even before COVID-19, Southern Maryland had already proved that it has the factors to become a world-class region despite being considered a highly underrated constituent state in the US.

How Southern Maryland Values Tourism

The state of Maryland’s economy values tourism. The tourist sector in Maryland supports more than 150,000 jobs, and 95% of tourism-related businesses are small enterprises. The total yearly payroll for the tourist sector is $6.5 billion.

To recruit, create, and maintain jobs in the tourism and film industries, the Office of Tourism & Film actively promotes Maryland’s quality of life and all the exciting activities that Maryland has to offer.

The Maryland Tourism Development Board, a board of executives representing accommodation, retail, transportation, food service, and attractions, as well as six members of the Maryland General Assembly, provide direction and support for the activities of the Office of Tourism. The Maryland Tourism Development Board earned a record-breaking $10.2 million in funding for tourism-related initiatives in FY 2020.

So, when on a tight budget, you need not worry about where to go on your next vacation because there are plenty of cheap travel destinations you can find. Whether you go to the southern states or the midwest of the US, there are definitely tourist spots for you to visit and explore that won’t break your bank. And in Southern Maryland, you can find all sorts of different landscapes and experience a wide range of activities without spending too much money.

An Overview of Southern Maryland’s Tourism Statistics

An article from Maryland Business states that Southern Maryland welcomed 36.1 million domestic visitors in 2013, an increase of 2.2 percent from 2012 and an increase of 33 percent from 2007. In addition, Maryland tourists and travelers spent $15.4 billion on travel expenses in 2013, an increase of 3.2 percent from 2012. Also, Maryland has grown its visitor market share by 13.3 percent since 2007, outperforming national and regional trends.

According to the Fiscal Year 2014 Tourism Development Annual Report, jobs and revenue related to tourism activities are rising throughout the state. Nearly 139,000 Marylanders worked directly in the tourism industry in 2013, with a payroll of $4.6 billion.

Furthermore, sales tax revenue attributable to tourism totaled $401.3 million in the Fiscal Year 2014, an increase of 2.4 percent from Fiscal Year 2013.

The tourist industry is expanding due to the Maryland Office of Tourism Development (OTD) advertising and marketing efforts. According to the report, every dollar spent on OTD advertisements generates an average of $177 in visitor spending, more than $25 in local and state taxes, and $5 in state sales tax income.

What Southern Maryland Offers to Tourists

Southern Maryland offers something for everyone, whether travelers prefer boating and beaches, skiing in the mountains, exploring historic sites, or dining on some of the best seafood in the world. These numerous attractions and activities draw tourists from all over the country, and the world generates significant revenue essential to Maryland’s economic vitality.

As stated in an article from Maryland Tourism, 41.9 million people visited the state in 2018 and spent $18.1 billion. In Maryland, 6.1 percent of all jobs are supported by tourism, which also brought in $2.5 billion in state and local taxes in 2018. Spending in Maryland increased by 2.1 percent in 2018, driven primarily by food, grocery store, and transportation expenditures.

Like any other country, Maryland also has strong state support for tourism as it is a valued part of its economy. And Southern Maryland’s diversified scenery, diversity of ethnicities, and array of tourist attractions have earned it the nickname “America in Miniature.” Although the state is small, it is a great place to travel because of its expansive shorelines, vibrant cities, and historical monuments.

The Resiliency of Southern Maryland’s Tourism

Since the year 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has heavily affected the tourism industry. So, to recover and emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever, the entire industry is currently seeking to refuel.

In a report from CBS News Baltimore, Board Chair of the Maryland Tourism Coalition Chris Riehl urged residents and guests of Maryland to enjoy staycations, eat out, and support regional businesses and activities. “Everybody can be a tourist and contribute to the economic engine,” Riehl said.

The Contribution of Tourism to Southern Maryland’s Economy

More than $200 million in financial assistance was provided by Governor Larry Hogan to workers in the hotel sector. As a result, owners of businesses intend to continue creating 150,000 jobs and the billions of cash they typically give to the economy.

“We know we’re not all the way back; we still have a long road ahead of us, but we’ve made it this far, and we’re excited about what the next couple of months have to offer,”

Restaurant, hotel, and event venue managers expressed their confidence in providing consumers with satisfying and secure experiences while visiting their establishments.

Final Thoughts

Tourism played a vital role in the development of Southern Maryland and will continue to do so. With the right support from the state and its citizens, the tourism industry will continue to thrive and provide many benefits to the people and economy of Southern Maryland.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...

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