tourism

creative commons

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Trump administration is seeking public comment on a plan to use seismic air guns to find oil and gas formations deep underneath the Atlantic Ocean floor.

The air guns are so loud they can disturb, injure or even kill whales, sea turtles and other marine life. The National Marine Fisheries Service said Monday it is seeking permits under the Marine Mammal Protection Act for five companies to conduct seismic surveys in the mid-Atlantic, from Delaware to central Florida.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Members of the legislature's budget-writing committee have begun whittling away at Delaware's spending as they work toward a balanced budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

The Joint Finance Committee on Tuesday worked its way through some $33 million in proposed cuts, a fraction of the roughly $240 million they may need to cut if lawmakers can't agree on revenue and fee increases other than hiking corporate franchise taxes paid mostly by out-of-state companies.

Don Rush

The tourist season is just around the corner with Delmarva resorts gearing up for the kickoff. Delmarva Public Radio's Jamir Wilson prepared this report.

Delaware Tourism Office

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - State officials are touting a record-breaking year for Delaware's tourism industry.

The Delaware Tourism Office released a report Tuesday showing 8.5 million visitors came to Delaware in 2015.

In January 2015, began using a new slogan: "Delaware: Endless Discoveries."

Officials say tourism accounted for $3.1 billion of Delaware's gross domestic product and is responsible for 42,000 jobs.

ococeancam.com

Ocean City is booming.

That was word from the Worcester Economic Summit.       

Andy Malis with MGH Advertising Agency told the gathering that interest in Ocean City has risen dramatically over the last few years with just under 900-thousand visitors to resort’s website.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that he said he believed the greater interest was the result of billboards, TV ads and advertising at Oriole Park.

Don Rush

Despite a downturn in the Maryland Economy, tourism is up. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush talked with Liz Fitzsimmons, the managing director of the Tourism, Film and Arts Division who says the decision to begin school after Labor Day should be a big boost.

Maryland Tourism Coalition website

BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland tourism professionals are gathering in Baltimore for their annual meeting.

The Maryland Tourism Coalition says in a statement that the three-day event begins Wednesday with welcoming remarks from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

The agenda includes an afternoon town hall meeting with elected officials regarding 2017 legislative priorities for the tourism industry.

The coalition says tourism is the state's 10th largest employer, supporting the equivalent of more than 140,000 full-time jobs.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan signed an executive order Wednesday to start Maryland public schools after Labor Day.

As he stood on the boardwalk in Ocean City Hogan said that this would help extend the tourist season for Marylanders and local businesses.

In addition, he said that it would help schools avoid the hot weather of August – especially for those without air conditioning and would save on energy costs.

The change is set to take effect next year. It requires public schools to complete the 180 days required under state law.

creative commons

WASHINGTON (AP) - The tourism bureau for the nation's capital says Washington set a record for overseas tourism in 2015, with more than 2 million foreign visitors.

Destination DC released the visitation data on Wednesday. The tourism bureau announced in May that the city also saw a record number of domestic visitors in 2015, with more than 19 million Americans traveling to Washington.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe says Virginia tourism revenues increased more than 2 percent last year over 2014.

McAuliffe says tourism generated $23 billion in revenues in 2015. That's up 2.3 percent from the previous year.

The Democratic governor says the tourism industry supported 222,600 jobs in Virginia last year, which is an increase of 5,700 jobs from the previous year.

McAuliffe says 41 million people from across the country visited Virginia last year. Domestic travelers spent $63 million per day in the state.

Don Rush

BERLIN, Md. (AP) - Assateague Island National Seashore has generated a nearly $110 million economic impact in local communities.
 
The Salisbury Daily Times the National Park Service said in its annual 2015 report that more than 2 million people who visited the National Seashore spent over $96 million in communities near the park.
 

governor's office

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Tourism Corporation is awarding more than $812,000 in grants to bolster local tourism programs.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe's office says the funds will leverage more than $2.6 million in matching funds from local partners, providing $3.4 million in funding to support marketing campaigns to attract visitors to Virginia.

McAuliffe says the tourism grants have been proven to increase visitation to the state through marketing partnerships and programs.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's lieutenant governor is urging federal officials to exclude Virginia from offshore drilling.

In a letter addressed to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Thursday, Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam said offshore drilling has the potential to threaten the environment, defense, agriculture and tourism of the state.

Northam, a Democrat, has announced his plans to run for governor in 2017. In the letter, he cited the "demise of the Chesapeake Bay" and his work toward its restoration as one of the reasons he decided to run for public office.

Bethany Beach website

There were more than 8 million tourists who came to Delaware in 2014.

That’s up from 7.5 million in 2013.

A new study found that they contributed $3 billion to the state’s gross domestic product or around 5 percent.

At the beaches the boom saw the rental market pass the $1 billion mark for Sussex County.

Statewide rental revenue went up by 8.8 percent between 2013 and 2014.

Linda Parkowski, director of the Delaware Tourism Office, called tourism an economic engine and a growth industry.

official photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe says a recent trade and tourism mission to Canada has increased exports of Virginia seafood.

McAuliffe said Thursday that Rappahannock River Oyster Company has secured deals with Lagoon Seafood of Lachine, Quebec, and Toronto-based seafood importer SeaCore as a result of the September mission.

Rappahannock will supply SeaCore with oysters and Lagoon Seafood with oysters and clams.

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The Ocean City Town Council says no to a plan to drill for oil and gas in along the coast.

In addition, the resort approved a resolution that also opposes seismic airgun surveys in the nearby waters.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the council said it had concerns about how it would affect the recreational fishing industry as well tourism.

The states of Maryland and Delaware have both called on the federal government to exclude them from the drilling areas.

Assateague Island National Seashore website

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe says tourism revenues increased more than 4 percent from 2013 to $22.4 billion last year.

The governor said Monday that the tourism industry supported nearly 217,000 jobs and pumped more than $1.5 billion into the state and local economies in 2014. State and local revenues were up 5.6 percent from 2013.

Officials say the travel industry was the fifth largest private employer in the state last year and made up 7 percent of Virginia's total private employment. Domestic travelers spent $61 million a day in the state.

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The fireworks went off on time at Ocean City as tens of thousands packed the resort this weekend.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that business was booming with some locals saying it was one of the best July 4th they have had in years.

There were a few incidents during the holiday weekend.

A man fell from a third story balcony and was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

Meanwhile, there was a reported fire on a public bus on Saturday which had to be evacuated.

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If you’re vacationing in Rehoboth Beach and looking forward to using the pool at your rental house that could come to an end in the near future.

The resort’s board of commissioners is looking at denying vacationers the right to use the pools of rental properties.

The Mayor and other city officials are concerned that the larger homes being built in the resort is causing too much noise and disruption in the residential areas.

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Delaware Congressman John Carney came to Rehoboth Beach with a message.

He opposes the federal plans to open up the Atlantic Coast to off shore drilling.

He met with environmental and tourism officials as part of his week of meetings aimed at the concerns over climate change.

Carney worries about the impact of what an oil spill like the recent one off the coast of Santa Barbara in California could have on the First State’s billion dollar tourism industry.

Don Rush

There were around a quarter of a million people in Ocean City this past Memorial Day weekend which marks to the first day of the summer season.

And all of the 600 campsites were full.

With the big crowds and good weather many businesses have finally begun to see an end to the impact of the Great Recession.

Jessica Waters with the resort told the Salisbury Daily Times that it was an exciting start to the season.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The National Park Service says its Virginia attractions saw nearly 23 million visitors in 2014.

A report released Thursday by the park service shows that those visitors spent nearly $1 billion in the state, resulting in 14,753 jobs.

The 150th anniversary of the Civil War was marked at many national parks in Virginia, including Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Richmond National Battlefield Park and Manassas National Battlefield Park.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Senate committee is backing a bill to close a tax loophole for third-party travel websites.

The committee voted 9-4 on Wednesday in favor of the legislation, which ensures booking companies such as Expedia and Travelocity pay Maryland the same amount of sales tax on that a customer would pay if they did not purchase a discounted hotel room from the travel site.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Virginia Beach's tourism industry experienced a record year for lodging and restaurant sales.

The city says tax receipts show lodging sales increased about 5 percent in 2014 compared with the previous year, for a total of about $315 million. Those figures include hotels, campgrounds, vacation rental homes and condo rentals.

Citywide restaurant sales in 2014 increased 3.6 percent compared to 2013, amounting to $1.1 billion.

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Hockey could be coming to Worcester County officials are looking at possibly constructing a multi-purpose stadium-style arena that could provide a venue for a minor league hockey team as well as concerts and convention groups.

Bill Badger, director Economic Development, told the Salisbury Daily Times that it is too soon to say where or when it might be built.

He adds that more than likely this would be a public-private venture.

But such project would stir up some competition with the Ocean City Convention Center.

Don Rush

BALTIMORE (AP) - A new report says tourism in Maryland rose by 3.2 percent in 2013.

The Maryland Office of Tourism Development released its annual tourism report Tuesday. The report attempts to measure the effectiveness of the state's tourism efforts, and the impact travel and tourism have on the state's economy.

Margot Amelia, the agency's executive director, says "tourism has been and continues to be a powerful economic engine for Maryland."

Tom Hunt

Now is the time that businesses along the Delmarva coastline are heading toward the end of the summer season. And, Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush sent Tom Hunt out to see how the tourist season has been doing.

panoramio.com

It may be the sign of the long winter may have been good for business this summer.

WMDT reports that hotels in Rehoboth Beach say reservations are up.     

The hotels say they have not only seen an increase for this Memorial Day Weekend but tourists are filling up the rooms for the coming months.

At the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel they expected to be sold out by Fourth of July.

If the weather holds up it should beat the slow start of last year when rain and low temperatures took its toll on the tourist season.

oceancitymd.gov

Sunfest is back.

And Ocean City is gearing up for the first blast for the tourist season.

Some 240 vendors from across the country are setting up for the event… located in the Inlet parking lot that will feature food and live music.

This year’s 24th annual event will run through the weekend from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

With the rain gone and good weather showing up vendors say they have already been doing well.

Maryland Office of Tourism

HANOVER, Md. (AP) - Maryland tourism officials say more tourists than ever are visiting the state despite an anemic economy.

The Maryland Office of Tourism says the state attracted 35.4 million visitors in 2012. Leisure travel led the increase, growing 6.7 percent last year and 39 percent since 2007. The Daily Record reports the new figures were announced at the annual Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit this week.

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