NEW YORK -- The number of visitors to Maryland by motorcoach
appears to be on the rise.
Statistics for the three-year period from 1995 through 1997 show
1.2 million people visited the state by bus, but not necessarily a
"We have some figures that estimate that 2% of our total number
of visitors come by coach or are on a group tour," said Wendy
Kelman, manager of North American sales for the Maryland Office of
Tourism Development. "We also know that the majority of our
visitors come from nearby states such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey
and New York."
Data gleaned from a national mail survey of 20,000 households
covering 1995 through 1997, compiled for the state tourism office
by TravelScope Data, shows:70% of the travelers came to Maryland for pleasure; 19% on
business.68% were on a group tour.56% stayed more than one night.The top three states of origin were Pennsylvania (21%);
Virginia (14%) and Maryland (13%).The most popular activities were historic sites/museums (29%);
shopping (19%); outdoor activities (10%); visiting beaches (8%),
and cultural events and festivals (5%).
"This is an exciting time to be in the industry," Kelman said.
"We have the Pride of Baltimore II, which is our 'ambassador' ship
that will be cruising the Great Lakes this summer," she said. "We
hold dockside receptions for potential clients such as tour
operators. These will be held between August and September in three
cities: Chicago, Cleveland and Philadelphia." Exact dates for the
reception blitzes have not yet been confirmed.
"We also do a promotional thing called Maryland on the Road,
which is a bus sales blitz. We put our private-sector and some
county partners in a coach and make sales calls. This makes a nice
four-day trip out of this event."
For example, Kelman said the group would be flown to Cleveland,
participate in the dockside Pride of Baltimore reception and then
reboard the bus to make some stops at area operators and travel
agents. In addition, we have a mini Maryland version of the On the
Road effort [three days] that ends in Philadelphia."
Kelman said MOTD is active in traditional trade shows and
conventions such as the American Bus Association, the National Tour
Association, Pow Wow and Ontario Motorcoach. "We [the state] will
be hosting ABA in partnership with Baltimore in 2001, and this year
Baltimore/Maryland will jointly host a dinner in Birmingham [Ala.]
at the ABA Marketplace," she said. Maryland Office of Tourism
Development, Phone: (410) 767-3400, Fax: (410) 333-6643, Web: www.mdisfun.org,
E-mail: [email protected]