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 percent of pre-pandemic visitor spending. In addition, the state reported increases from pre-pandemic levels in the key sectors of lodging and restaurants.
The report also showed that spending by overnight visitors increased nearly 6 percent, from $784 in 2019 to $830 in 2021. When comparing 2021 to 2020, the report found that visitor spending grew 42 percent, 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 and it also reports increases in two important tourism industry sectors, taking into account inflationary pressures:
Fiscal ‘22 vs. Fiscal ‘21 increased 170 percent
Fiscal ‘22 vs. Fiscal ‘19 increased 10 percent
Fiscal ‘22 vs. Fiscal ‘21 increased 97 percent
Fiscal ‘22 vs. Fiscal ‘19 increased 31 percent
The state’s marketing efforts also played into the increase, said Liz Fitzsimmons, managing director of the Maryland Office of Tourism.
“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 Fitzsimmons. “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.”