May 13, 2021 – Dorchester County Office of Tourism – Cambridge, MD
The Dorchester County Office of Tourism is proud to announce the release of the Community and Economic Impact Study of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway. The study evaluated the impact of tourism spending and other impacts to Dorchester and Caroline Counties. Camoin 310, a full-service national economic development consulting firm, was commissioned to complete the project.
Based on a survey completed in-person and online in the summer and fall of 2020, the majority of respondents were visiting the area for its the historical significance (74%). More than half of the visitors to the Byway were from outside Maryland and most visitors indicated that the Byway was highly important in their decision to come to the area. In addition to visiting the Byway, 27% of respondents dined in the area, 21% visited other historic sites, 10% shopped, 10% hiked, and 10% traveled to the shores and beaches. On average, people spent $92 per person per day.
Findings from the survey were used to complete an economic and fiscal impact analysis and indicated that visitors from outside of the area (Dorchester and Caroline counties) contribute $23 million in sales annually to the area. These direct sales have multiplier effects and in sum, support 363 jobs for $9.9 million in earnings and a total of $30.1 million in sales per year. Fiscally, $115,000 can be attributed to Caroline County and $682,000 can be attributed Dorchester County in annual tax revenue (includes hotel rental tax and property tax).
Amanda Fenstermaker, Director of Dorchester County Tourism, says, “We are pleased with the findings of the study and are glad to have some concrete numbers to quantify the importance of this historic and cultural asset.”
This collaborative effort was guided by a stakeholder committee with representatives from the Dorchester County Tourism Office, the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area, the Caroline Office of Tourism, the Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area, the Maryland Office of Tourism Development, the Maryland Park Service, and the National Park Service.
For more information please contact Amanda Fenstermaker, Director of Dorchester County Tourism, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 228-1000.
Attachment: Harriet Tubman Community and Economic Impact