The Economic Impact of Travel on Maryland Counties 2004, a study prepared for the Maryland Office of Tourism Development, recently released shows increases in the areas of overall expenditures, payroll, and State and local tax receipts in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties.
Travel expenditures in Calvert County rose by 14.5.2%, up from $59.5 million in 2003 to $68.1 million in 2004. In Charles County, expenditures rose by 11.6%, up from $71.2 million in 2003, to $ 79.5 million in 2004. Expenditures in St. Mary's County rose by 5.4%, from $55.1 million in 2003, to $58.1 million in 2004. Travel expenditures include spending by international and domestic visitors in the areas of food service, lodging, transportation, entertainment/ recreation, and general retail.
Travel-generated payroll figures in 2004 for Southern Maryland were: $16 million in Calvert County (up 5.7%), $20 million in Charles County (up 7.2%), and 19.8 million in St. Mary's County (up 0.3%). Travel-generated payroll is income paid to employees directly serving the traveler such as those working in the food service and lodging sectors.
State and local tax receipts reported for each County were: Calvert County: State receipts at $3.3 million (up 12.8%), and local receipts at $4.6 million (up 14%); Charles County, State receipts at $4.4 million (up 9.9%), and local receipts at $3.9 million (up.11.1%); and St. Mary's County, State receipts at $2.7 million (up 3.8%), and local receipts at $3.5 million (up 4.9%).
Travel industry employment increases were up in Calvert County (5.7%) and 5.6% in Charles County. St. Mary's County had a slight decrease of -1.1%.
"With an increase in the expenditures made by visitors over last year, tourism continues to be a major economic engine in Charles County and Southern Maryland, according to Joanne Roland, Tourism Director for Charles County. "Each year our economic figures are strong and continue to grow. Since we will be hosting several major tournaments, the numbers will continue to increase. What a win-win situation for our County."
Carolyn Laray, who manages Tourism for St. Mary's County noted, "This is good news for each County, respectively, and for Southern Maryland. Our counties continue our strong partnership in developing collaborative products and collectively marketing them, as these figures reflect."
During 2004, the total economic impact of tourism expenditures for the Southern Maryland region was $205.7 million.