Tourist Industry Ready For Memorial Day Weekend

Businesses anticipate growth as the summer extends through Labor Day for schoolchildren.
Annapolis, Md (KM) This coming weekend is considered the unofficial start of the summer vacation season, and hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions are getting ready to welcome visitors. Wini Roche, the Executive Director of the Maryland Tourism Coalition, an industry trade group, says businesses connected to the tourist industry are expected to do well this summer, now that the vacation period for schoolchildren has been extended to Labor Day. “We’re looking at an anticipated $75-million uptick from the longer summer,” she says.

That figure comes from the Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates.

At the request of Comptroller Peter Franchot, Governor Larry Hogan issued an executive order earlier this year to require schools to open the day after Labor Day, as was done in the past. In recent years, most public school systems  have opened in mid- or late August.

Roche says tourism plays a big role in the state’s economy. “You’re talking about an industry that does an annual sales of more than $17-billion. And those dollars are going into small businesses around the state,” she says.

In addition, Roche says the tourism industry employs more than 144,000 people

“When visitors come to Maryland, we don’t have to educate them and pave the roads for them,” says Roche. “They come here and spend their money, and we say ‘bye,’ and they go on.”

She says visitors to Maryland save state residents more than $1,000 each year in taxes.  In addition, Roche says, the tax money paid by visitors also helps state and local governments pay for services such as education, transportation and law enforcement.



By Kevin McManus