Youth and Amateur Sports takes Center Stage at Maryland Tourism & Travel Summit

40th Edition of Conference features All-Star Sport Tourism Panel

From left to right: Kevin Smith, Matt Libber, Terry Hasseltine, Neelay Bhatt, Al Kidd, Kris Smith at the 2021 Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit at Maryland Live! Event Center at Arundel Mills

(HANOVER, Maryland) — The 40th anniversary of the Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit was “One for the books!” declared Ruth Toomey, Executive Director of the Maryland Tourism Coalition. The MTC operates the perennial celebration of hospitality and tourism in the state. Representatives and sponsors from across Maryland gathered in Hanover inside the state-of-the-art Event Center at Maryland Live! Casino for a three-day summit, November 8th through 10th, to celebrate Destination Marketing Organizations, Convention and Visitor Bureaus, hotel operators, restaurateurs, and other organizations that work closely with, or work to enhance, the tourism industry across Maryland. The summit included an opening ceremony at Laurel Race Park and was hosted by TEAM Maryland partner Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County.

“It’s always great meeting new people and getting to have one-on-one time with the speakers,” said Toomey, who planned the event, and echoed nearly all of the attendees – many of whom hadn’t seen one another in-person since the 2019 MTTS at Rocky Gap Resort in Allegany County. “While tourism numbers are up, we are not (fully) recovered. We will have a long road ahead of us,” said Toomey, who took home the “2021 Tourism Person of the Year” honor during the event’s closing ceremonies.

Ruth Toomey (second from right) named 2021 “Tourism Person of the Year”

The Maryland Sports Commission, which has a longstanding partnership with the MTC – and is a multi-year sponsor of the summit – hosted this year’s main panel discussion on Tuesday afternoon. The topic focused on youth and amatuer sport tourism and the positive impact this particular sector of the industry has on local communities and the state as a whole.

Youth and amateur sports continue to prove itself as a near ‘recession-proof’ section of the tourism market,” said Terry Hasseltine, Executive Director of the Maryland Sports Commission. Hasseltine, who admits having serious concerns about the impact that COVID closures and cancellations would have on the industry beginning in early 2020, said that he saw community members working with local governments and event organizers to find ways to make sports happen during the pandemic, “Obviously we were impacted like every other sector of the tourism and hospitality industry. But one of the first things we saw come back online was amateur and professional sports. We saw more people going outside and participating in active, outdoor sports and Event Rights Holders took notice of this and began looking for ways to return to competition spaces in a safe and socially responsible manner.”

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What is the fastest growing team sport in the United States?

In a country full of home-runs, three pointers and the cherished hole-in-one, there is a lot of debate as to what sports are more popular than others. According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), rugby is currently the nation’s fastest growing team sport in the United States, and it is taking off successfully in the state of Maryland. Continue reading

The Second Annual Bay Bridge Paddle Returns to Annapolis

Do you want to join in or maybe just watch water sports, live entertainment and enjoy warm weather while having a blast with friends and family? Head to the 2nd Annual Bay Bridge Paddle on Saturday, April 29th at the Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, Maryland. The event runs from approximately 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Saturday with extended events Friday night for all!

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Fishing Angling for a Spot in the Olympics | Sports Destination Management

If this actually takes place, it might be the greatest thing to happen to fishing since the invention of the earthworm.

The international governing body for fishing (the Confederation Internationale de la Peche Sportive, or in English, the International Confederation of Sport Fishing) has applied for Olympic status in the 2020 Games in Tokyo. – See more at: http://www.sportsdestinations.com/sports

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Variety Is the Spice | NASC

At the October NASC Market Segment Meetings, a lot of the talk among attendees was focused on keeping kids involved in sports. As we’ve noted, by the time young athletes hit early high school, participation drops dramatically and with an organization like NASC, kids playing sports is vital to keeping the organization, and the industry, growing.

A recent article on ESPNW takes the youth sports discussion one step further—why you want your young athlete to be involved in multiple sports in this day and age of sport specialization.

Source: Variety Is the Spice – NASC