Maryland’s 13 heritage areas, funded through the Maryland Department of Planning and overseen by the Maryland Heritage Area Authority (MHAA), generated a total impact on the state’s economy of more than $2.4 billion in fiscal 2019, according to an economic contribution analysis. The study further concluded that the economic activity of MHAA supported or sustained 33,815 jobs throughout the state.

The study is a strong indicator of the need for ongoing investment in heritage tourism in a post-COVID-19 landscape. The study measured the economic contribution of MHAA, 13 Certified Heritage Areas and heritage tourism, and provides individual impact analyses of the state’s certified heritage areas.

“[An analysis] is a reliable tool that policymakers can use to inform their decisions and empirical context that shows relative value. MHAA, the 13 heritage areas, and heritage tourism are sustainable economic drivers that make a demonstrable impact on Maryland. Dollars invested in growing heritage tourism yield economic returns for Maryland while celebrating its unique history, culture and environmental assets,” said Nichole Parker, co-Founder and President of Parker Philips, the consultant that performed the study.

Among the findings in the study:

  • The $2.4 billion total economic impact of the programs in fiscal ’19, which included $1.4 billion direct and $1 billion indirect and induced spending, was the result of operational spending, capital spending, payroll and benefits paid to employees, student spending, and visitor spending.
  • The employment impact of MHAA and 13 Certified Heritage Areas supported or sustained a total of 33,815 jobs.
  • Through its local spending and the jobs it supported or sustained, MHAA and heritage tourism generated $319.8 million in state and local taxes.
  • The fiscal ’19 $6 million allocation to MHAA allows the work of building heritage tourism to grow value and recognition across the state and nation. MHAA and the 13 Certified Heritage Areas leverage this funding to generate a $2.3 billion program and heritage tourism impact.

The full economic contribution analysis is available at