Maryland tourism rebound nears pre-pandemic economic impact

Tourism in Maryland has rebounded almost to pre-pandemic levels.

The Maryland Department of Commerce reported Friday that visitor spending grew by $4.8 billion in 2021, reaching $16.4 billion. Visitor spending last year was 88% of 2019 levels.

Tourists visiting Maryland last year supported nearly 174,000 jobs and generated $2.1 billion in state and local tax revenue, the Department of Commerce’s Economic Impact Report said.

Tourism spending is defined as lodging and entertainment, and includes food.

Visitors spent $4 billion last year on food and beverages and bars, restaurants and grocery stores in Maryland. Food spending accounted for 23% of the average visitor spend, more than lodging, at 18%, and recreation and entertainment, at 12%.

An estimated 35.2 million tourists visited Maryland in 2021. Though still almost 7 million visitors shy of 2019, it was a 42.3% jump from 2020.

Tourism comparisons to 2020 are stark, when the pandemic brought travel to a near standstill. Hotel spending last year jumped 41%. With key venues re-opening and attractions increasing capacity, recreational spending was up 44%.

The Maryland Department of Commerce’s full Economic Impact Report is online.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

This content was republished with permission from CNN.

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