Maryland Welcomes Korean Tourism Delegation with
IPW Event

MSAC Recognizes Wheaton A&E District

OTD Welcomes International Tour Operators and Writers with Pre- and Post-IPW Fam Tours

15th Annual AFI Docs Film Festival Gets Underway in Silver Spring

Salisbury Announces National Folk Festival for 2018

WONDER WOMAN Comes to Six Flags America With Exciting New Ride

The March Maryland Tourism Monitor is Here

Maryland Welcomes Korean Tourism Delegation with IPW Event

On Monday, June 5, First Lady Yumi Hogan, Assistant Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ben Wu, and Liz Fitzsimmons, Managing Director, TFA, welcomed a delegation of Korean tourism officials and tour operators to an event in Bethesda highlighting the benefits of Maryland travel. Speakers focused on Maryland’s welcoming tourism environment, important cultural aspects, and diverse, four-seasons climate, as well as important cultural and education assets including the University of Maryland system, Johns Hopkins, Maryland Institute College of Art, and more. The event was a natural outgrowth of the opportunity presented by IPW being held in Maryland’s backyard.

Pictured: (left to right) Gina Choi, Aviareps; David Shin, Top Travel USA; Lee Chun Hwa, Tourmart America; First Lady Yumi Hogan; Eunjoo Yoon, American Airlines and Matthew Lee, FASTech Inc.

MSAC Recognizes Wheaton A&E District with Outstanding Achievement Award During Annual Meeting
  Wheaton A&E District Logo
On June 5, MSAC hosted its 10th Arts & Entertainment Districts Program Annual Meeting in Berlin, gathering arts supporters including Berlin Mayor William “Gee” Williams, III; Julie Madden, Interim Executive Director, MSAC; Steven Skerrit-Davis, A&E Districts Program Director, MSAC; and A&E district managers from across the state, as well as representatives from the National Endowment for the Arts, several Maryland county arts councils, and prospective A&E districts.

Before launching into professional development sessions that were the focus of the day-long meeting, MSAC presented the Wheaton A&E District with the 2017 Award for Outstanding Achievement. The award recognizes Wheaton’s stellar efforts in highlighting the unique mix of artistic and cultural traditions within their district with a slew of initiatives and partnerships, its creation of an artist relocation program, and its thoughtful approach to developing a strategic plan that will guide the district through a period of tremendous physical redevelopment in the coming years. Maryland's 24 A&E Districts promote arts-induced economic development and revitalization while supporting thousands of jobs and producing more than $570 million each year. For more information about MSAC’s A&E Districts program, visit the MSAC website.

OTD Welcomes Group Tour Operators and Writers with Pre- and Post-IPW Fam Tours
IPW 2017, the nation’s largest international tourism industry event, and one of the most important drivers of international tourism was held in Washington, D.C., June 3-7. Maryland took full advantage, hosting pre- and post-IPW fam tours for group tour operators and travel writers from around the world. Tours showcased only-in-Maryland assets with themes such as “Spectacular Maryland,” which included an Orioles game at Camden Yards in Baltimore and events at National Harbor; “Beach to Bay,” which highlighted Ocean City, Assateague National Seashore, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, Annapolis and more; and “Indulge All 5 Senses,” which took attendees to Antietam National Battlefield Park, the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the Clarksburg Premium Outlets, The Fillmore Silver Spring, and other locations; and “Living the Easy Life,” which included stops around Columbia including Savage Mill and Old Ellicott City, indoor sky diving at iFLY, a Baltimore Harbor cruise on Watermark’s Raven, a tour of the National Aquarium and more.

In addition to the fam tours, Maryland tour operators, hoteliers, and destination marketers joined OTD on the IPW show floor, holding meetings with more than 300 domestic and international tour buyers including group tour organizers and industry decision makers from around the world with access to millions of travelers from more than 70 nations. “IPW is an unparalleled opportunity for us to join with our private partners and get the Maryland message to a global travel market, and it’s a message that resonates,” said Rich Gilbert, Travel Sales Manager, OTD. “We have a rich history, amazing outdoor opportunities, unique culinary treasures, mountains, big cities, the Chesapeake Bay— and we are open for business.”

Pictured: OTD team members with IPW tour operators at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

15th Annual AFI Docs Film Festival Gets Underway in Silver Spring
  Picture of AFI Silver Theater and Cultural Center in Silver Spring
AFI Docs -- the nation’s premier documentary film festival with a board of directors that includes Ken Burns, Werner Herzog, and Spike Lee -- returns to Silver Spring’s AFI Silver Theater and Cultural Center this week, running June 14-18. AFI Docs was founded by the American Film Institute in 2003 and has grown to become not only a fan favorite, but one of the most important festivals in the industry. Called the "Pre-eminent U.S. Documentary Fest" by Screen International, the "Premier showcase for documentary films" by The Hollywood Reporter, and "Non-fiction Nirvana" by Variety, AFI Docs is the only film festival in the United States that offers the unique opportunity to connect film audiences with national opinion leaders, filmmakers and intriguing film subjects. This year marks the festival’s 15th year and the 50th anniversary of the American Film Institute’s founding with a lineup of 103 feature films from 28 countries including the world premieres of “Atomic Homefront,” “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” and “New Chefs on the Block.” For more information, a full film slate, and to purchase tickets, visit the AFI Docs website.
Salisbury Announces National Folk Festival for 2018
  National Folk Festival Logo
On June 5, Salisbury Mayor Jake Day announced that the city will be hosting the National Folk Festival from 2018-2020. Salisbury was selected by the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) from a field of 34 cities across the nation and will be the 29th city to host the prestigious event since its inception in 1934. The event, which travels to a new city every three years, will be free to attend and is expected to draw more than 150,000 revelers to downtown Salisbury.

In conjunction with the National Folk Festival, MSAC’s Maryland Traditions will be moving their Maryland Folklife Festival to Salisbury as a part of the national celebration. “We at Maryland Traditions are thrilled this National Folk Festival is coming to Salisbury,” said Chad Butterbaugh, program director, Maryland Traditions. “By relocating our Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival to join the National Festival in Salisbury for the next three years, we’ll be able to present Maryland’s folklife practitioners to much larger audiences.”

WONDER WOMAN Comes to Six Flags America With Exciting New Ride
  Six Flags America park president Rick Howarth is joined by Wonder Woman to officially open the new ride.
As Wonder Woman smashes records at the box office, Six Flags America has created a new way to celebrate the Amazonian princess with the WONDER WOMAN Lasso of Truth thrill ride. The high-tech swing hurdles its riders at speeds up to 40 miles per hour while suspended from a 24-story tower. WONDER WOMAN Lasso of Truth joins the park's other DC Comics-themed rides, SUPERMAN: Ride of Steel; BATWING Coaster; APOCALYPSE: The Last Stand; and JOKER's Jinx. With the opening of this latest attraction, Six Flags stays at the forefront of amusement park design and technology, ensuring that the park, which draws more than a million visitors each year, remains a key Maryland attraction.

Pictured: Six Flags America park president and Maryland Tourism Development Board Chair Rick Howarth is joined by Wonder Woman to officially open the new WONDER WOMAN Lasso of Truth ride.

The March Maryland Tourism Monitor is Here
The latest Maryland Tourism Monitor shows continuing gains from OTD's outreach efforts. Print and broadcast leads for Fiscal Year 2017 are outperforming 2016 with broadcast leads showing 24.7 percent growth, and web travel kit requests increasing 27.2 percent. Traffic to OTD websites has seen an increase of nearly 47 percent, with unique traffic to generating more than 210,619 outbound links to our partners. Maryland Welcome Center visitation has increased 8 percent compared to Fiscal Year 2016. These efforts have coincided with a 4.7 percent increase in Tourism Tax Code revenues, doubling the increase from all other categories which rose 1.9 percent.
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Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival, National Harbor
Head to National Harbor for beer sipping, bourbon tasting, music, cigars, and barbecue. For details and to purchase tickets, go to our website.
OC Air Show, Ocean City
Catch the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels over the surf in Ocean City as well as lots of other high flying action at the 10th anniversary edition of the OC Air Show. For more information, check out our website.
Mountain Maryland Plein Air, Cumberland
The Allegany Arts Council offers plein air art activities and events in Allegany & Garrett Counties. For details, visit our website.
Worcester County Fair, Snow Hill
Maryland’s county fair season kicks off for 2017 with traditional county 4-H fair with livestock, a horse show, live entertainment, and amazing food. Find out more at our website.
Baltimore Dragon Boat Challenge
Under Amour headquarters plays host to dragon boat teams from six states going head-to-head in 500-meter races. For details, get to our website.
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