Tourism is big business in Cecil County.
During May, which is Tourism Month, Lisa Webb, County Director of Economic Development, and Tourism Coordinator Sandy Turner shared what visitors bring to the county and what future plans are in place to bring more visitors to the area.
"Visitors enjoy Cecil County, spend money, and leave. We do not educate their children, nor do we provide them with expensive county services," said Turner. A visitor is defined as someone who visits the county from more than 50 miles away.
Turner said that according to a 2012 Economic Impact Study, visitors spend $144 million in the county annually. That generates $21.9 million in state and local tax revenue. There are 2,337 tourism jobs in the county and contribute $87 million in employee wages.
If visitors did not come to the area, Maryland households would have to pay an additional average of $935 in annual taxes. Turner said that the businesses who benefit from tourism include banks, insurance companies, contractors, lumber yards, food suppliers, and others.
Cecil's marketing focus comes in the following ways: print, radio, mail, special promotions, travel writers, world wide web, television, press releases, billboards, social media, email blasts, booth at expos and events, and face-to-face interaction.
There are three current tourism initiatives underway that were outlined last week. The county has applied for grant money to put a culinary trail in place.
If the grant is obtained, that trail would include either seafood, or other seasonal specialties from both Cecil and Harford counties.
The two initiatives that are receiving the most attention from the Tourism Department are the Bassmaster Elite and the Calvert Regional Park.
One hosting event is a tournament in the Bassmaster Elite which would bring over 2,000 visitors to the county. It is expected that if Cecil were to be included as a host site, the economic impact would be $2 million in revenue to the county.
For Calvert's Regional Park, annual revenue is anticipated to be $77,000 to be generated from field usage. With that number in mind, the park would be paid off after seven years.