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Maryland’s State Parks And Private Campgrounds Boost State’s Economy, Studies Show
More than $231 million in total sales generated in 2004
BALTIMORE, MD (October 18, 2005) – Visits to Maryland’s state parks and private campgrounds generated more than $231 million in total economic impact in 2004, according to a study recently completed by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. The study, conducted by the Maryland Office of Tourism Development, in cooperation with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Maryland Park Service, and the Maryland Association of Campgrounds, surveyed expenditures by visitors during a recent 12-month period, measuring the total impact of those visits on statewide and local economies.
The study also showed that of the $231.9 million in total economic impact, spending by visitors to state parks totaled $168.8 million, while private campgrounds visitors spent $63 million. Spending by campground visitors supported 3,140 jobs in Maryland, with 2,276 of those jobs being directly related to visitor spending at campgrounds. More than $13.5 million in total tax revenue for the state and local governments was generated.
"This news is further evidence that Maryland means business when it comes to promoting our state," said Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. "Numbers like these prove that Maryland's state parks have been recognized and appreciated by tourists both local and interstate. The economic impact these campgrounds generate benefits not only the State, but also provides significant revenue and jobs to local economies as well. I am proud that our outstanding campgrounds are growing with the rest of the state's flourishing tourism industry and can compete with those in neighboring states.”
Figures released in the economic impact study represent both direct and secondary impacts. The study collected data on park fees, accommodations, travel expenses, food and beverage and retail purchases to determine the total economic impact. State park campground visitors spent a total of $301 per trip, and private campground visitors spent an average of $698. A copy of the study can be found by visiting http://dnr.maryland.gov/download/ei_study.pdf
“This landmark study demonstrates the unique partnership we enjoy between the private and public sectors of our industry in Maryland. Not only does the report provide conclusive data on the enormous economic impact the camping industry has on our State and its' residents, it also provides us with valuable information on our customers - what they want, where they come from and how much they spend with us. It gives our park operators the opportunity to make future planning decisions based on our customers needs”, said Deb Carter, Executive Director of Maryland Association of Campgrounds.
Based on the camper survey, the majority of campers to Maryland campgrounds came from within the state (58.2 percent), followed by Pennsylvania with 16.1 percent, Virginia with 5.8 percent and New Jersey with 4.2 percent. The average camper party was 5.1 persons, with state park campers spending 3.1 nights while private campground users spent 12.8 nights.
“Maryland’s diverse landscape affords outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to camp in the mountains, across the piedmont or along the shore without ever crossing the state line,” said DNR Secretary C. Ronald Franks. “This study, which confirms that visitors from neighboring states are joining Marylanders in using our facilities, is true testament to the scope and beauty of our resources, the quality of our state parks and the dedication of the people who manage them.”
The tourism industry is continuing to show tremendous growth in Maryland, reaching a record $9.3 billion in economic impact in calendar year 2003. Tourism also generates an estimated $2 billion in federal, state and local taxes and employs more than 112,000 people, mainly in the areas of foodservice, public transportation and lodging. In 2004, Maryland welcomed more than 21 million visitors.
October 18, 2005
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 446,000 acres of public lands and 18,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov