Industry Spotlight: Tourism

Credit: C. Kurt Holter/Visit Frederick
Frederick businesses know that visitors make an impact on the local economy. Over the past 15 years, there was a $1B cumulative gain in visitor spending, an impressive figure that set a milestone for the local tourism industry. The announcement came during the annual membership meeting of the Tourism Council of Frederick County, where the organization also announced that Frederick County climbed from 11th place to 8th place among Maryland Counties in spending by visitors. 

More than 1.7 visitors come to Frederick County each year, spending $361 million during their stay in the area, according to 2013 statistics released by the Tourism Council.  These impressive figures only account for visitors traveling from more than 50 miles or more away. Because it doesn't include visitors from places like Montgomery County or Washington, D.C., the actual impact from visitors is even greater. 

Tourism is a major industry sector for the City of Frederick. One of the chief attractions is Frederick’s dynamic 40-block historic district, with its nationally renowned architecture, historic sites, arts and entertainment, and a thriving shopping and dining scene.  Downtown Frederick is home to approximately 850 businesses, many of which rely on visitors.  

Within minutes of Downtown Frederick are wineries, Civil War battlefields and historic sites, recreational opportunities, and scenic landscapes, making the area attractive to a variety of travelers.

“Tourism is one of our major industry sectors in Frederick” says Richard Griffin, Economic Development Director for the City of Frederick. Top business leaders in the city agree. In a recent survey of the Economic Development Advisory Council, an ad-hoc committee appointed by the Mayor, members were asked to rate targeted industries on a rating scale in terms of their importance to the City of Frederick’s economy. 92% of the survey respondents ranked it as an “important” to “very important” industry sector.

Looking towards the future, new plans for a Downtown Frederick hotel will help grow the industry provide overnight accommodations for groups and travelers downtown, an amenity many travelers seek. 

For more information, visit the Tourism Council of Frederick County or read the recent feature story on tourism in Frederick County in the January 2015 issue of Frederick Magazine