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NEWS
By Chris Korman, The Baltimore Sun | August 9, 2012
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.
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NEWS
By David Carroll and Pamela Charshee | September 15, 2014
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is right. We will not succeed in growing Baltimore's future by "thinking small" but by building "projects that will sustain Baltimore well into the future" (" Moving Baltimore Forward ," Aug. 29). The mayor proposes that designing a great transit system will be one of the cornerstones of a sustainable future for the city. We agree. There is also another cornerstone critical to the vibrancy, the life and the perpetuity of Baltimore and all great cities: its cultural "bones" - the richly layered accumulation of historical experience, knowledge and creative accomplishment that together form the unique identity, the persona, of a place.
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SPORTS
By Matt Vensel | June 14, 2011
I apologize for my absence on the blog today, but I was in a six-hour newsroom training session learning how to shoot video on an iPhone. I would make some sort of comment about that being a waste of time, but all I did in my first hour back at my desk was look at videos online. That’s how I found a random video of Ravens coach John Harbaugh giving a pep talk about Baltimore being a great tourist destination. Enjoy.
NEWS
September 1, 2014
Students go back to school for the first time Tuesday in only one school system in Maryland. That would be Worcester County, home of Ocean City where the lure of sun, sand - and the availability of teen labor - convinced the local school board to rewrite the academic calendar for the 2014-2015 year. Elsewhere, public school systems opened last week, and they appear universally satisfied with their choice. That 23 of Maryland's 24 school systems continue to prefer a pre-Labor Day starting date would seem to present a teachable moment to everyone but Comptroller Peter Franchot, who continues his quixotic crusade to force a longer summer break.
TRAVEL
By Michelle Deal-Zimmerman, The Baltimore Sun | July 10, 2012
Even with the Fourth of July holiday falling in the middle of the week, Ocean City saw a substantial bump in tourism with tens of thousands more people at the beach. Officials estimate the town's population swelled to 331,909 on July 4. The last time the holiday fell on a Wednesday was in 2007, said Donna Abbott, director of tourism for Ocean City, and the estimate then for the one-day population was 310,877. "We had a great July 4th holiday. With the holiday falling mid-week, traffic coming and going was spread out," Abbott said, explaining the challenge of gauging how successful the holiday was for the town.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun | August 7, 2012
Five tourism projects along the Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway in Harford and Cecil counties have secured nearly $198,000 in matching grants from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority. The town of Port Deposit in Cecil County will use $36,500 to complete the river walk promenade that links its Marina Park to its historic district. The project includes a pedestrian trail and interpretive signs at the Jacob Tome Gas House and Northern Map Turtle Refuge, a protected habitat for the endangered species.
NEWS
By Howard Libit and Howard Libit,Sun Staff Writer | August 30, 1994
SMITH ISLAND -- Jennings Evans isn't particularly fond of tourists, but he knows that his community needs the money."I'm not begging for them to come, but they can be a real help to a lot of people," said the 63-year-old waterman, a native of Smith Island.With today's scheduled ground breaking for The Center, a 4,000-square-foot building, Smith Island will formally accept tourism. After it is completed, thousands of sightseers are expected to visit The Center to pick up cultural, social and historical information about Smith Island -- where the natives are struggling to hold on to their traditions in the face of growing contact with tourists.
BUSINESS
By Bill Atkinson and Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF | May 14, 2003
Tourism plunged more than 34 percent in Maryland last October as the Beltway sniper's killing spree kept frightened travelers at home, according to numbers released by the Department of Business and Economic Development yesterday. The number of tourists fell to 1.062 million, down from 1.613 million in the prior year. Tourism dipped again in November by 14 percent from 2001, but rebounded after the arrests of the sniper suspects, said Robert E. Carter, assistant secretary for the state's Tourism, Film and the Arts office.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare and Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer | August 9, 1994
Carroll County can promote itself to a wider audience thanks to state grant money."The Carroll County Office of Tourism has received a matching grant from the state," Director Joan Meekins said yesterday. "The grant has a $10,000 cap per county."Ms. Meekins, who was to meet with the Carroll County commissioners today "to let them know the money is here," said she already has "the dollars in the tourism budget to match the state funds."The money, which comes from the state Department of Economic and Employment Development, will be available through June 30, 1995.
NEWS
By TaNoah Morgan and TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF | June 30, 2003
When friends come to visit Rachelina Bonacci, she stuffs their hands with brochures praising the virtues of Howard County. Now, as the new executive director of the Howard County Tourism Council, she gets to do that kind of promotion for a living. In her new job, Bonacci expects to add to the agency's small staff - now at three - and increase its outreach to help bring more tourists into Howard County, she said. "There's no reason people have to go to Williamsburg" for small group meetings, said Bonacci, 33, who has lived in the county for 15 years.
BUSINESS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | August 19, 2014
About 10,000 gamblers, well-connected guests and curious local residents are expected to come to the city a week from tonight for the grand opening of the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, launching what city officials hope will be a powerful economic engine. The debut will be a test for city officials and business leaders, who face a stack of logistical hurdles in the casino's first week. Opening night of Maryland's fifth and most urban casino overlaps with an Orioles game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards . There are six more home games the first week - including on Saturday, when the Navy football team also will be in town to play Ohio State at M&T Bank Stadium.
BUSINESS
By Michael Bodley, The Baltimore Sun | July 29, 2014
The city's tourism industry grew last year, according to Visit Baltimore's annual report, with 23.9 million visitors spending more than $5 billion in 2013. The report, which was released Tuesday, found that visitors to Baltimore were up 2.6 percent from 2012, though leisure visits continue to dominate business visits by more than three to one. Tourist spending is up 2.2 percent over the same period. Hotel bookings are also on the rise, with 370 conventions, meetings and trade shows in fiscal year 2014, helping generate an economic impact of $241 million for the city.
HEALTH
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | June 3, 2014
When a Virgin Galactic plane designed for space tourism eventually launches, a Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory experiment studying magnetic activity will be on board. The lab's Electronic Field Measurements instrument will be among a dozen experiments that will enter what is known as the "suborbital" region, about 50 miles above Earth's surface, in a NASA-funded mission. A date has not yet been announced for the flight of Virgin's SpaceShipTwo spacecraft. The experiment seeks to study electromagnetic conditions inside the spacecraft to determine what magnetic fields the craft generates itself, independent of Earth's magnetic field.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | February 24, 2014
Maryland officials should get more economic bang from the Wallops Flight Facility — just over the line in Virginia — by capitalizing on space tourism and the potential from unmanned aircraft, according to a new study. The report, commissioned by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, said the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's complex on Wallops Island already has an effect on Maryland's Eastern Shore. But there's potential for more. One possibility: attracting more people to see rockets blasted into space from Wallops.
NEWS
By Amanda Yeager, ayeager@tribune.com | December 24, 2013
Veteran Ellicott City community volunteer Ed Lilley announced Saturday that he would be resigning his post as Welcome Center manager for Howard County Tourism, effective immediately. "After 44 years on Main Street this has been one of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make," Lilley wrote in an email. He has been a familiar face in Ellicott City's historic district since 1969, when he started work at an insurance agency with his father. From 1987 to 2001, he owned a year-round Christmas shop on Main Street called The Christmas Company.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger and Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | December 7, 2013
Six-year-old Rey Powell sat next to his father, nose pressed against the window on the MARC train Saturday as he headed from Union Station in Washington to Penn Station in Baltimore aboard one of the system's first weekend trains. The two planned to grab a taxi once they arrived for a visit to the National Aquarium — a father-and-son getaway for the boy's birthday. "We love trains, and it takes away the hassle of driving," said his father, Rey Powell of Gaithersburg. No one's sure how many weekend riders the MARC train will carry to and from Baltimore on its new, expanded Saturday and Sunday service, but Charm City marketing experts and transportation officials expect to collect on the state's $46 million venture in more places than just the fare box. Curators and event planners, sports stadium managers and real estate brokers say they anticipate that the new train service will enable them to tap into a bigger tourism market, connecting them to regional travelers and visitors flying into Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport seven days a week.
BUSINESS
By Gary Gately and Gary Gately,SUN STAFF | January 27, 1996
In the two weeks restaurateurs have chewed on a proposed meal tax that would raise millions to lure conventions and tourists to Baltimore, opponents have become supporters, supporters have become opponents -- and just about everybody seems more than a little ambivalent.Even some of the strongest supporters of the 1 percent tax, which would be levied at about 125 restaurants in a proposed "tourism district," view it as decidedly unpalatable, but necessary. Even some of the biggest opponents acknowledge the need to increase spending for the nonprofit Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association, which receives millions less than competitors in other cities to sell Baltimore beyond its borders.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | October 5, 2001
On Sept. 11, Eisner Communications was to run through a pitch it was to give less than a week later to try to win the account of the Washington, D.C., Convention and Tourism Corp. Events, obviously, intervened. That day, "We were dealing with our own emotions, and dealing with what this means for our effort," said Steve Eisner, president and chief executive officer of the agency. The run-through was scrubbed, and the agency sent a video crew to Washington the next day, attempting to capture a city struggling to recover from the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and on the World Trade Center in New York.
TRAVEL
By Megan Brockett, The Baltimore Sun | October 25, 2013
Tourism gains boosted Garrett County and the Deep Creek Lake area during the last fiscal year, the result of record accommodations sales for the county and a sharp increase in tourism sales tax revenue, according to the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. Garrett County, roughly three hours from Baltimore by car, attracts visitors year-round with the state's largest freshwater lake, Deep Creek Lake, and its only ski resort. Tourism sales tax revenues for the county climbed more than 6 percent during the fiscal year that spanned July 2012 to June 2013, while tourism sales tax revenues for the state as a whole grew by less than 1 percent.  Nicole Christian, president and CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, attributes much of the county's tourism growth to aggressive marketing strategies that span print, television, radio and online mediums, among others.
NEWS
October 24, 2013
There was no "misperception" about Patapsco Heritage Greenway. The Friends of Patapsco Valley and Heritage Greenway organization tried to create a Maryland Heritage Tourism Area by that name back in the 1990s. As I understand it, by 2000, numerous local environmental and community groups opposed the certification, Howard and Baltimore County withdrew support and the Sierra Club brought a lawsuit against it. After settling the lawsuit out of court, the Friends spent 13 years clearing trash and garlic mustard out of Patapsco Valley State Park.
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