The Maryland Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism & Film has retained Marriner Marketing Communications, of Columbia, as its Agency of Record. After soliciting proposals from prospective vendors from across the country, the office elected to build upon the tremendous success it achieved with Marriner during the past five years, with approval from the Maryland Board of Public Works.

As the state’s official travel marketing agency, the Office of Tourism will collaborate with Marriner to build upon the communications strategy, which will create awareness and visitation to the state’s attractions, accommodations and services. This will include highlighting Maryland’s coveted waterways, scenic byways, and access to the Chesapeake Bay, and showcasing Maryland’s unique culinary experiences.

The strategy will build upon Maryland’s position as the Most Powerful Underground Railroad Storytelling Destination in the World; additionally, Marriner has committed to work with multiple Minority Business Enterprise and Very Small Business Enterprise subcontractor partners throughout the term of the contract, including REJ & Associates, Maryland Marketing Source, Britt’s Industries and Aliceanna Collective.

During the previous five-year contract, Marriner and the office achieved significant results: The launch of the “Open” campaign in 2019 generated 123,000 incremental visitors from 53,500 incremental trips and $45.4 million in direct spending from incremental visitors, resulting in $6.2 million in tax revenue.

Overall, the campaign’s return on investment was 31:1. During the pandemic, Marriner and the Office of Tourism & Film shifted strategy and adapted messaging to account for the new traveler mindset, resulting in an expectation exceeding $6 million in incremental hotel revenue in 2020 and more than $9 million in incremental hotel revenue in 2021.