Visit Harford! Non-profit Becomes County’s Tourism Office

Harford County’s tourism office has been replaced by the non-profit Visit Harford! with the goals of expanding county’s tourism marketing and capitalizing on the county’s new hotel tax to support those tourism efforts. As reported in The Baltimore Sun:

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman announced last year he would shut down the county’s tourism office, part of the Office of Economic Development, instead making the non-profit Visit Harford! the county’s main marketing organization.

Tourism industry leaders think that will mean more freedom and more funding to promote county attractions like special events, sports-related venues, local businesses and wedding sites.

Effective Monday, county tourism manager Wini Roche’s position was eliminated, saving the county $227,143 in expenses that included trade memberships and travel-related costs, county government spokesperson Cindy Mumby said.

The legislation approving the hotel tax, passed earlier this month by the County Council after years of lobbying by tourism leaders and Aberdeen city officials, would let local organizations compete for tax revenue.

According to estimates by the Office of the County Auditor, the new tax will generate approximately $2.75 million in annual revenue, when the county begins collecting the tax this spring.

“The idea here is that we’re looking for opportunities to put these funds to work where they can best support tourism, and that’s the reason for this process,” Mumby said.

For more information read the full article in The Baltimore Sun.