21st Annual Taste of Maryland Legislative Reception

The 21st annual Taste of Maryland Legislative Reception will bring together veteran as well as new legislators, public officials, and representatives of the tourism industry in an environment that encourages discussion and networking while sampling Maryland’s diverse restaurant cuisine. The celebrated event is co-sponsored by the Maryland Tourism Council, the Maryland Hotel and Lodging Association, the Restaurant Association of Maryland and the Maryland Wineries Association. Monday, January 17 from 5-7:30 p.m., the Loews Annapolis Hotel will host the event showcasing over 21 restaurants from 10 Maryland counties.

Professional networking with the state’s decision-makers is a core function of both the Maryland Tourism Council and the Maryland Hotel and Lodging Association which serve as advocates for tourism and hospitality businesses and properties throughout the state. Both associations encourage members as well as supporters of Maryland tourism to attend the event in support of the industry, to establish relationships with legislators, and to create a unified voice in front of the state’s government officials.

The tourism marketing budget will again be a focus of conversation in addition to networking with the new legislators to generate their support for tourism initiatives. The Maryland Tourism Development Board’s marketing budget was cut in 2010 to $5M, with $2.5M being dedicated to County tourism marketing programs. The tourism marketing budget allows Maryland to compete with other travel programs as well as support the state’s programs that provide more than 135,000 jobs and over $1.7 billion in state and local taxes. It will be critical that the FY2012 tourism marketing budget be fully budgeted at $6M.

In addition to the networking opportunity the event provides, the Taste of Maryland Legislative Reception will feature an open bar and complimentary food tastings. Open bars will be stocked with products from MillerCoors and complimentary wines provided by the Maryland Wineries Association. Tickets are $60 per person and can be purchased online in advance at http://www.thetasteofmaryland.com/.

Press are invited to attend as well and may request a press pass by contacting Jennie Silver at the Restaurant Association of Maryland at jsilver@marylandrestaurants.com or 410.290.6800.

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