Maryland’s Tourism Industry Appeals to Legislators for Tourism Marketing Funding on Tourism Day in Annapolis
Tourism Day in Annapolis is a cooperative venture among the state’s major tourism and hospitality associations to connect tourism professionals with their elected legislators in Annapolis. On Friday, January 28, professionals from around the state will meet at the Miller Senate office building to carry their tourism message to the legislature. The event is organized by the Maryland Tourism Council (MTC), the Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs), the Restaurant Association of Maryland, the Maryland Wineries Association, the Maryland Hotel and Lodging Association and the Maryland Motorcoach Association. The MTC and DMOs have organized meetings from 8 a.m. through noon with delegations and individual legislators and it is expected that 200 representatives of tourism will be on site for the meetings. This event comes on the heels of the annual Taste of Maryland Legislative Reception and the continued focus will be appealing for full funding of the state’s tourism marketing budget.
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 supports 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 individual meetings scheduled on Tourism Day, the event includes an agenda of presentations by leaders of the MTC, Maryland DMOs, Maryland Tourism Development Board, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, and members of the Maryland tourism Industry. The tourism industry will be acting as one voice as they lobby for fiscal support.
Mary Jo McCulloch, President and CEO of the Maryland Tourism Council says, “On this day last year we had over 175 members of our industry come out to Annapolis just as the February blizzard was beginning. Their dedication to tourism is unsurpassed and we expect another strong turn-out to help educate our legislature about the value, revenue and job opportunities that tourism brings to Maryland.”
Members of the press are invited to audit the presentations and should contact Mary Jo McCulloch to coordinate attendance.
The Maryland Tourism Council and Maryland Destination Marketing Organizations are advocates for member businesses, properties, products, and services that contribute to Maryland’s hospitality and tourism industry and Tourism Day is a critical event in communicating the value of the state’s tourism industry to public officials and legislative decision-makers.