Tourists spent $17 billion in Maryland last year (and why were the streets filled with New Yorkers?)

Tourists spent more than $17 billion in Maryland last year — and many more visitors than usual came from New York, the Maryland Department of Commerce reported Wednesday.

Overall visitation decreased slightly — from 42.1 million in 2016 to 41.5 million in 2017. But the city saw an increase in visitors from targeted markets such as New York. Visitors to Maryland from the Big Apple increased 10 percent last year, with visitors from Pittsburgh up 4 percent, and visitors from Washington up 3 percent.

“Our marketing strategy of promoting Maryland as a tourism destination in key markets is paying off,” Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill said in a statement.

Overall, tourism spending last year was up 2 percent from 2016, according to a study conducted by Tourism Economics. And visitors generated $2.4 billion in state and local taxes, saving every Maryland household $1,100.

“Maryland has so much to offer, it’s no surprise that tourism is one of our most important economic generators and job creators,” Gov. Larry Hogan said.

Tourism is the state’s 10th-largest private sector employer. The study showed there was a 2 percent increase in employment to 149,000 in 2017, and a 4 percent increase in wages to $6.3 billion.

ctkacik@baltsun.com

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An earlier version of this article misstated where tourists spent $17 billion. It was in Maryland as a whole. The Sun regrets the error.
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