Maryland Tourism Continues Strong Recovery, Reports Increases In Visitors and Visitor Spending

by Patrick Herron

Per the State of Maryland:
ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced that, according to an economic impact report released by the Maryland Department of Commerce, the state’s tourism industry is continuing a strong recovery, recapturing nearly 90% of pre-pandemic visitor spending. In addition, the state reported increases over pre-pandemic levels in the key sectors of lodging and restaurants. The state continues to experience a strong economic recovery as a whole, including an unemployment rate below pre-pandemic levels.

“This report is another milestone showing that Maryland is experiencing one of the strongest recoveries in the nation,” said Governor Hogan. “The hard work and resilience of our hundreds of tourism professionals, along with aggressive efforts by our Maryland Office of Tourism to promote new ways to enjoy our state and its resources, has brought visitors back to Maryland in a big way.”

“Maryland’s tourism industry is well positioned and open to welcome visitors to our state,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “It is our intention to continue to finish strong with the tourism industry leading the recovery in visitor spending and job creation.”

The report also showed that spending by overnight visitors increased nearly 6% from $784 in 2019 to $830 in 2021.  When comparing 2021 to 2020, the report found that visitor spending grew 42% from $11.6 billion in 2020 to $16.4 billion in 2021. Domestic and international visitors also increased, up to 35.2 million in 2021 from 24.7 million the previous year.

Another key measurement of economic output is the “Sales and Use Tax” as reported by the Maryland Comptroller. This is reported on a Fiscal Year rather than on the Calendar Year and it also reports increases in two important tourism industry sectors, taking into account inflationary pressures:

Lodging:
FY 22 vs. FY 21 increased 170%
FY 22 vs. FY 19 increased 10%

Restaurant:
FY 22 vs. FY 21 increased 97%
FY 22 vs. FY 19 increased 31%

“One reason attributable to the recovery was the continuation of marketing efforts by The Maryland Office of Tourism promoting the “Big Five”: The Most Powerful Underground Railroad Storytelling Destination in the World; The Chesapeake Bay; Fish and Hunt Maryland; Trail System Second to None; and Scenic Byways,” said Liz Fitzsimmons, managing director of the Maryland Office of Tourism. “These truly ‘only in Maryland’ experiences have proven to be successful in the past – we relied on them to guide our efforts and we will continue to build upon them in the future.”

The Maryland Office of Tourism is an agency within the Maryland Department of Commerce. Visitors to the state spent $16.4 billion on travel-related expenses in 2021. The Maryland tourism industry also generated $2.1 billion in state and local taxes, essentially saving each Maryland household $923 in annual taxes, and directly supported Marylanders with nearly 113,000 jobs. For more information, go to www.visitmaryland.org.

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