Calvert County's Tourism Industry Continues to Flourish, Say Officials - Southern Maryland Headline News

Calvert County's Tourism Industry Continues to Flourish, Say Officials

Visitor Counts Up 9.37 Percent Over 2006

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. (Aug. 9, 2007) The latest year-end statistics compiled by the Calvert County Department of Economic Development prove that Calvert County remains a hot tourist destination, two years in a row, say County officials.

The records for Fiscal Year (FY) 2007the period from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007show that visitor counts for the County's main attractions are up an average of 9.37 percent over 2006a year when the same statistics showed a 12.54 percent increase. In FY-2007, 368,607 people visited the County's tourist sites, 31,576 more than last year.

Visitor counts are tallied and reported from each of the County's major tourist attractions and two visitor centers. Major tourist attractions include such sites as Calvert Marine Museum, Kings Landing Park, Breezy Point Beach, Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum, Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum, Flag Ponds Nature Park and Annmarie Garden.

Erica Stone, tourism specialist at the Calvert County Department of Economic Development, believes the positive trend in visitor counts is due in large part to the department's change in marketing tactics in late 2005. "We are now marketing the County in ways that are much more innovative and timely," said Stone. "By reaching out to couples for day trips, families seeking entertainment, young professionals who use Calvert County as their playground and even our own local citizens through a tourism awareness campaign, we have been able to attract new visitors. We have also targeted industry professionals, like travel writers, who have been very generous and enthusiastic in their reviews of Calvert's tourism industry including our hotels, restaurants and gift shops, not to mention our charter fishing fleet, historic attractions and museums."

Linda Vassallo, director of the Calvert County Department of Economic Development, notes that the County's tourism industry has also matured over the past several years. "Just this year alone," she says, "we have added about 200 additional hotel rooms to our inventory with the opening of the Hilton Garden Inn in Solomons and the Marriott SpringHill Suites in Prince Frederick. Travelers today are more sophisticated, want access to a wider variety of experiences and want their travel information delivered more efficiently through the Internet. We have made a number of recent changes to accommodate these trends and the effectiveness of these changes is proven by the increase in our tourism numbers."

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