|Governor Announces Boosts to
Tourism Industry |
Capital News Service
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2001
ANNAPOLIS - The state will provide free transit on Baltimore and
Washington Metro, amusement park discounts and free fishing in the second
phase of its "Maryland on the Move" campaign to boost the
sagging tourism industry.
During Columbus Day weekend, bridge and tunnel tolls were free and
park fees were reduced.
This new phase will encourage Marylanders to return to the state's
The campaign is designed to not "let fear force us to withdraw
from our normal lives," said Gov. Parris N. Glendening Wednesday in
announcing Maryland Family Fun Weekend. "It is important to know that
as Marylanders experience the beauty and fun of Maryland, they are doing
more to strengthen Maryland's economy and sending the message that we will
not be deterred from enjoying our lives," the governor said.
There has been a "major turndown" in the state's tourism
industry since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, Glendening said. The
exact impact is still difficult to quantify and most indicators are
anecdotal, said Hannah Byron, director of the Maryland Office of Tourism
Montgomery and Prince George's counties have been particularly
hard-hit, Byron said, attributing much of the impact to the closing of
Reagan National Airport after the attacks. The airport reopened with a
limited schedule Oct. 4.
Frederick and Talbot counties appear to be doing "remarkably
well," Byron said, but "you can call a hotel in Frederick
County, and numbers are still down."
Four conventions have been cancelled since Sept. 11 at the
Baltimore Convention Center, said Executive Director Peggy Daidakis. Ocean
City, meanwhile, saw more than 149,000 people visit over the Columbus Day
weekend, about 3,000 fewer than last year, said Jeannie Powell from the
city's Department of Tourism.
Some of the "free stuff from the Free State" includes:
Glendening announced last week that he was tripling the advertising budget for tourism through the end of the
year. Ads for the "Maryland Family Fun Weekend" began running
Wednesday in Maryland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
- half-price adult admissions Friday through Sunday at Six Flags America in
- "buy one, get one free" rides on the tethered,
helium-filled balloon Saturday and Sunday at Baltimore's Port Discovery
- a Dixieland band at Arundel Mills Mall on Saturday, and
- a lifting of fishing license requirements for the weekend.
"Ultimately, it's paying off," Byron said of the governor's
tourism campaign. "But the industry is so volatile we don't know what
is going to happen next."
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