A twice-monthly newsletter full of information for the cultural and tourism community.
OTD is seeking nominations for the 2021 Destination Maryland Awards. These awards recognize the outstanding work of the tourism industry in its quest to increase revenue from visitor spending while providing unforgettable customer experiences for our visitors. Individuals, businesses, organizations, and governmental agencies that have significantly and positively impacted the local, regional, or statewide economy between November 1, 2020 and August 31, 2021 are eligible for nominations. Submissions are due by 5:00 p.m. October 22, 2021.
This year’s categories include the Maximizing Opportunities Award, the Market Expansion Award, the Leveraging Partnerships Award, and the Transactionable Outcomes Award. The awards will be presented during the Maryland Travel & Tourism Summit, November 8-10 in Hanover. For more information, including eligibility guidelines, and to make a nomination, follow this link.
Chesapeake Bay Storyteller tours became immensely popular this summer season. Many of the tours led by the Maryland Office of Tourism (OTD) and National Park Service (NPS)-trained tour guides were completely booked throughout the season. Chesapeake Bay Storytellers lead water-based tours about Chesapeake Bay nature, history, culture, and stewardship, and can vary from paddling tours, to sailing tours, fishing charters, watermen’s heritage tours, history and lighthouse tours and more. In 2020, OTD and NPS trained these guides through three separate training courses: one each at Calvert Marine Museum, Living Classrooms at Masonville Cove, and Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center. Thirty-eight participants representing 33 businesses or organizations graduated from the training program. The tours were then marketed and promoted by OTD via a printed guide Stories of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, a promotional video, web content, digital and print ads, social media ads, and media outreach.
OTD is pleased to announce that it recently received a grant from the NPS to continue delivering the Chesapeake Bay Storytellers training. Plans include expanding the program to train more water-based tour guides and to include land-based tour guides who deliver tours or programs about the Bay. The grant will also fund market research about Chesapeake Bay visitation and travel. Stay tuned for more information about training dates.
Pictured: Chesapeake Bay Storyteller Alum Shardana Sailing Charters offers customized tours from Rock Hall, MD.
Baltimore Homecoming is hosting its Amplify 2022 event May 4-6 of next year. Baltimore Homecoming is a nonprofit seeking to engage Baltimore natives and alumni to spark new partnerships, investments, and collaborations in the city. Baltimore Homecoming is also seeking nominations for community and nonprofit leaders, activists, artists, and innovators who have made a significant impact on Baltimore for the Baltimore Homecoming Hero Awards presented by T. Rowe Price. In addition to a $3,000 cash prize, winners will have the opportunity to raise the profile of their work and organization by speaking at Baltimore Homecoming and will have access to capacity-building resources provided by T. Rowe Price. Follow this link to The Baltimore Sun’s website to make your nominations through October 15.
Baltimore Homecoming has also issued a Field Trip request for proposals. The field trip component seeks to showcase Baltimore’s community-focused nonprofit organizations as site locations and give more organizations an opportunity to engage with attendees. Nonprofits interested should follow this link to apply by October 15 for consideration. For more information about Homecoming Heroes including a comprehensive toolkit for participants, follow this link.
The second annual Maryland Restaurant Week is underway now through September 26. Maryland Restaurant Week brings Maryland’s cities, counties, and restaurants together to celebrate the restaurant industry. Participating restaurants may offer special menus, discounts, or seasonal fare for dine-in, curbside, or carryout. Maryland Restaurant Week is brought to you by the Restaurant Association of Maryland and sponsored by McCormick For Chefs and Old Bay seasoning. For more information including participating restaurants, follow this link to the Maryland Restaurant Week website.
The Office of Tourism Development’s marketing plan is updated annually, and details the travel industry’s situational analysis, including visitor statistics, industry insights, lodging trends, and product and visitor analyses. It also lays out the fiscal year objectives and strategies by the individual programs within the department. OTD measures its programs against four strategic objectives: Market Expansion, Leveraging Partnerships, Maximizing Opportunities, and Transactionable Outcomes. Each department within OTD has outlined their strategies within these four strategic objectives in the plan. For a link to the FY22 marketing plan, click here.
Whether you're planning an epic road trip or seeking a hideaway to escape it all, the Destination Maryland Magazine includes everything you need to plan your trip.
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