Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA), the governing body of the Maryland Heritage Areas Program, today released the results of a study that estimates the contribution of Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area to the statewide economy to be $98,4 million and 1397 jobs.
“At the Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area, our top priority is the development and celebration of heritage tourism, but it is important to note that the heritage area also plays a vital role in both the state and the regional economies. Our operations and the economic activity generated by our programs, grantmaking and the resulting heritage tourism touch virtually every corner of our regional economy including outdoor recreation”, said Gail Owings, Executive Director of Eastern Shore Heritage, Inc., managing entity of the Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area.
The study was commissioned by Maryland Heritage Areas Authority and was conducted by Parker Philips, Inc. a nationally recognized consulting firm specializing in economic impact analysis.
“An economic contribution analysis is an objective way to measure the significance of an organization in the regional economy; it is a tool that policy makers can use to inform their decisions about how to allocate funding and make smart investment decisions”, said Nichole Parker, Co-Founder and Principal Partner at Parker Philips. “Clearly, the Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area is a major contributor to the regional economy and raises the profile and value of heritage tourism”.
In the analysis, the study considered the direct spending on operations, pay, benefits, grants and heritage tourists by the Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area and the estimated increase in demand for goods and services in industry sectors that supply or support the heritage tourism in the heritage area.
According to the study, a key result of the program and heritage tourism is that Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area supports and sustains 1397 jobs including direct employment by the heritage area, as well as indirect and induced jobs created by supply and equipment vendors, jobs created in the community at hotels, restaurants, and retail stores in support of the Stories of the Chesapeake’s operations, grantmaking and heritage tourists.
The study also calculated tax revenues generated by this level of economic activity, including sales, property, personal income, and corporate income taxes. The study concluded that Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area generates about $13.1 million in tax revenues for state and local government.
Statewide, the Maryland Heritage Areas Program, including all 13 certified Heritage Areas, heritage tourists, grantmaking and program spending had a total statewide economic contribution of $2.4 billion. This activity generated an estimated 33,815 jobs in the state. It is estimated that nearly 20.7 million tourists in the state are heritage tourists.
This economic impact report for Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area is available at www.storiesofthechesapeake.org.
The Stories of the Chesapeake works with community partners in Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot Counties to tell the story of Maryland’s Eastern Shore through preservation and enriching experiences to promote the cultural and natural heritage of the region while enhancing its economic vitality.
The Maryland Heritage Areas Program is governed by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) and administered by the Maryland Historical Trust. MHAA provides targeted financial and technical assistance within 13 locally designated Heritage Areas, each of which has a distinct focus or theme that represents a unique aspect of Maryland’s character. Local partners operating within Heritage Areas may be eligible for a variety of benefits designed to support economic development through heritage tourism, including grants, tax credits and loans. Together, MHAA, the Heritage Areas and local partners support the economic well-being of Maryland’s communities by promoting, sustaining, and creating place-based experiences for visitors and residents alike.