Bay County Welcome Center

From left, Betsy Sipes, MD Tourism; Maureen Curry, MD Tourism; Ceres Bainbridge, Caroline County Tourism; Jana Carter, Kent County Tourism; Gigi Wadley, Kent Narrows Development Corporation; Brian McKenna, MD Tourism; and back, Rich Gilbert, MD Tourism.

CENTREVILLE — The Maryland Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism celebrated the 36th annual National Travel and Tourism Week, May 5-11, with a series open houses was held at eight of the state-run Welcome Centers, including the Bay Country Welcome Center located on Route 301 near Centreville. Founded by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, NTTW is a yearly tradition that recognizes the tourism industry’s impact on the nation’s economy.

On May 7, some 50 visitors had made their way into the center, said Besty Sipes with the Maryland Office of Tourism.

The center is a good resource to local activities in the area and can provide a tie between areas as well, said Maureen Curry, also with the Office of Tourism.

The theme of this year’s NTTW, “Travel Matters,” highlights the ways that travel enhances communities by creating jobs and generating economic impact through visitor spending; providing new recreational experiences and learning opportunities; contributing to the well-being and health benefits of travelers; and enhancing hometown pride.

“Travel and tourism is a billion dollar industry in Maryland that not only creates and supports nearly 150,000 state jobs, but provides unique and memorable experiences that are priceless,” said Gov. Larry Hogan. “We are proud to continue President Reagan’s yearly tradition of celebrating travel and tourism here in our home state and all across our great nation.”

“On May 7, we are celebrating NTTW at our Maryland Welcome Centers, which welcome tens of thousands of visitors each year,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “We’re inviting everyone — elected officials, tourism industry members, travelers, and our local friends and neighbors — to join us in celebrating the power of tourism.”

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