Visit Baltimore reports increase in convention bookings

Annual report shows positive trend in wake of Otakon departure

August 14, 2013|By Chris Korman, The Baltimore Sun

Visit Baltimore announced increased sales Wednesday on the heels of news that Otakon, the largest convention held in the Inner Harbor in recent years, would relocate to D.C. in 2017.

Visit Baltimore booked 477,764 room nights during fiscal year 2013 for future years, the third-highest total ever, the city's convention and visitors bureau said. It signed contracts for 35 "citywide" conventions, which have at least 1,200 attendees, during fiscal year 2013 according to the group's annual report and business plan. The new business will have an economic impact of $270 million, it said.

Otakon drew about 31,000 people to Baltimore last weekend. Last year, it had an economic impact of $10.6 million, second only to the Natural Products Expo East at $11.2 million.

Visitor spending reached an all-time high of $5 billion during the fiscal year ended June 30, the highest ever, and resulted in $267 million of local tax revenue, according to Vist Baltimore.

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