tourism

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As tourists begin to flock to the Delmarva beaches fro July 4th the coronavirus pandemic has seen many business on the peninsula struggle to survive. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with Memo Dirikir, director of Salisbury University's Business, Economic and Community Outreach Network, about the immediate and long term effects of the pandemic restrictions as Maryland begins to reopen. (Part 1) 

rehobothcity.com

With the traditional summer season just around the corner it will not be the usual tourist crowds that ordinarily flock to Delmarva's coastal towns. Governor John Carney has ordered non-essential businesses to close execpt for carry out to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. Carol Everhart, President and CEO of the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce, is hoping that some of the restrictions will be lifted to save what will be left of the sumer days.

Don Rush

The tourist season is expected to take a serious hit this summer with the restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. And, none more so than Ocean City with the closing of its Boardwalk businesses. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with Susan Jones, executive director of the Ocean City Hotel, Motel and Restuarant Association about the prospects for this summer. 

visit maryland

BALTIMORE (AP) - The number of tourists who visited Maryland last year may have dropped slightly, but a report says they spent more money than in 2017.

The Economic Impact of Tourism in Maryland report was announced Wednesday at the annual Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit.

The report says visitors to Maryland spent more than $18 billion last year, up about 2.1% from the previous year.

Don Rush

The Sussex County Council will take up a measure that would impose a tax of up to 3 percent for hotels, motels and tourist homes in unincorporated areas.

WBOC reports that the lodging tax would generate $1.3 million that would directly benefit the county.

It would go towards things ranging from beach nourishment and economic development to tourism programs and flood control projects.

The county has determined there are around 40 venues in the unincorporated areas that would be subject to the tax.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's tourism industry generated $26 billion in visitor spending across all communities in 2018, a 4.4% increase over 2017.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced Monday that the tourism industry also provided $1.8 billion in state and local revenue in 2018. That's an increase of 2.9% compared to the previous year.

The slogan "Virginia is for Lovers" was developed in 1969 by Richmond-based advertising firm Martin & Woltz, now the Martin Agency. It is the longest-running state tourism slogan in the country.

creative commons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A vote is near on a measure to enable local school boards in Maryland to decide when public schools start.

The Maryland Senate could vote as soon as Tuesday on a bill.

The measure in the Democrat-controlled General Assembly has prompted a battle with Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

The governor signed an executive order in 2016 requiring schools to start after Labor Day. 

Don Rush

BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland officials say tourism spending increased in 2017, despite a drop in overall visitors.

The Baltimore Sun cites a release from the Maryland Department of Commerce that says visitors to Maryland spent more than $17 billion in 2017, up 2.1 percent from the previous year.

creative commons

Efforts by Ocean City to push two offshore wind projects farther off the coastline have failed in Annapolis.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that a House panel essentially killed the legislative bid by offering up an unfavorable report.

The Maryland Climate Change Coalition issued a statement praising the decision saying that it will mean not only a clean environment but jobs and stable electricity rates.

The measure would have pushed the turbines out to 26 miles.

creative commons

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - A new bill in Maryland's General Assembly would prohibit offshore wind turbines from being erected within 26 miles of the coast.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that House and Senate versions of the measure are scheduled to be debated in committee rooms this week. But the proposal is likely to face stiff headwinds in the Democratically controlled Legislature, which has backed several recent renewable energy initiatives.

Don Rush

With the winter weather ahead Delmarvans will be depending on forecasters more and more each day.  Delmarva Public Radio's Brian Shane has a look at forecasting and the impact of the changing weather on the peninsula.

Don Rush

It's the end of the tourist season and merchants are counting their money to see how they did this year. Delmarva Public Radio's Tyler Simpson took a swing along the Ocean City Board to check out the mood as the season wraps up.

ewallpapers.eu

REHBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) - Rehoboth Beach commissioners have approved four bid awards to three contractors for construction of the city's ocean outfall wastewater project.

Construction is expected to begin this fall on the controversial outfall project, in which treated wastewater would be dumped into the Atlantic Ocean about a mile from Rehoboth's popular tourist beach.

Commissioners voted Monday to award bids totaling more than $37 million, with the ocean outfall bid awarded to Manson Construction of Seattle for $27.6 million.

cleanenergycouncil.org

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland environmental coalition is criticizing an amendment added to legislation by U.S. Rep. Andy Harris that they say could stop two offshore wind proposals near Ocean City.

The Maryland Climate Coalition said Wednesday the amendment approved by the House Appropriations Committee this week would prohibit the Interior Department from approving project construction plans, despite six years of debate and approval by state lawmakers and regulators.

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A measure by Congressman Andy Harris to require offshore wind turbines to be at least 24 miles off the coast could jeopardize their development in the region.

The amendment by the Eastern Shore Republican was approved by the House Appropriations Committee.

And it comes after Ocean City officials said the sight of the turbines could jeopardize the resort’s tourist industry.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports Harris points out that a similar project of the Virginia coast was 27 miles away from the shore.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A bill opening Delaware's environmentally protected coastal zone to new heavy industry is facing a final vote in the General Assembly.

The bill, which easily cleared the House last week, is scheduled for a Senate vote Thursday.

The legislation, supported by Democratic Gov. John Carney, establishes a permitting process for new use of 14 existing industry sites, including abandoned and polluted brownfields.

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.

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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.

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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.

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