Monday, May 6, 2019 - 4:00pm
(Baltimore, MD – May 6, 2019) – Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young signed the Baltimore Tourism Improvement District (TID) ordinance into law today as part of an event at City Hall celebrating the economic impact of tourism and the start of National Travel & Tourism Week. The signing marks another significant step forward for Visit Baltimore and the City’s hotel community in their collaborative efforts to increase supplemental funding for destination sales and marketing initiatives.
Having secured approval from both the State and the City on the formation of the TID, Visit Baltimore will work in collaboration with the hotel industry on a petition drive. In accordance with the new ordinance, backing from 54% percent of the city’s hotels by number, and total room count is required to advance the petition to the City’s Board of Estimates for verification. Once the results have been verified, a district management committee of hoteliers, initially appointed by the Baltimore Convention and Tourism Board of Directors, will be formed and a subsequent public hearing and vote on the TID’s financial plan will be held. The recommended financial plan and final assessment rate would need final approval by the Board of Estimates before collection can begin.
“I appreciate Visit Baltimore and the hotel community’s proactive efforts in coming to the city with an innovative public-private solution that will increase our capacity to attract both leisure travelers and conventions,” said Mayor Young. “A thriving tourism industry contributes to our overall success by employing residents and driving economic impact in the City. I sponsored this bill as Council President, and I’m proud to sign this ordinance into law during National Travel & Tourism Week.”
In 2017 Baltimore welcomed 26.2 million visitors who spent $5.7 billion and in turn, helped to support 85,678 jobs in the tourism industry. Revenues realized through the TID will be used to enhance destination sales and marketing efforts and position Baltimore as a premier travel destination. The additional dollars will also allow Visit Baltimore to be more competitive in the meetings marketplace, secure new business opportunities for the destination and ensure the growth of the industry in the years ahead.
“The addition of a TID in Baltimore is a game changer for the City and really the entire region,” said Al Hutchinson, president and CEO of Visit Baltimore. “Our ability to drive visitation is entirely resource dependent and this private-public partnership between our Baltimore hotel community and State and City officials provides transformational support for Visit Baltimore’s sales and marketing efforts. I want to thank our partners for their commitment and dedication to this initiative.”
The TID signing capped off a ceremony at City Hall kicking off National Travel & Tourism Week in which Visit Baltimore unveiled a new Faces of Tourism campaign that highlights tourism ambassadors from throughout the city. The effort aligns with the opening of the Visit Baltimore Foundation’s fifth annual Academic Scholarship cycle, supporting Baltimore area students pursuing tourism-related degrees. Over the past four cycles, the Foundation has awarded nearly $45,000 to help support and launch the careers of Baltimore’s future faces of tourism.
And as part of Tourism Week, Visit Baltimore is hosting an industry day of service on Wednesday, May 8 with partners from the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, Baltimore City Rec and Parks, and MedStar Hospital to clean, restore and beautify an important gateway into South Baltimore. On Friday, May 10, Visit Baltimore will host a free Second Fridays event at the Baltimore Visitors Center featuring hands-on maker workshops, free food and drink tastings, live music and locally made goods for purchase.
About Visit Baltimore
Visit Baltimore is the official sales and marketing organization for Baltimore that generates economic benefits for stakeholders through the attraction of convention, group and leisure visitors. For more information, please visit www.baltimore.org.