An estimated 34.4 million people visited Maryland in 2011, an increase of 6.8 percent over 2010, according to results of a survey released Thursday. Margot A. Amelia, executive director of the state's office of tourism, said a refocused advertising strategy has lured travelers from nearby cities.
"In 2008 we made a pretty significant change and started reaching out year-round, and directing all of our efforts to people in three broadcast markets: Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia," Amelia said after a press conference at the Ellicott City Station of the B&O Railroad Museum. "We're a driving destination, and these numbers show that we've been able to bring people to so many of the state's attractions. And, of course, they leave money behind."