Summer's here, and Delaware's tourism industry is already in full swing. As we welcome summer, it is a time reflect on how the past six months have flown by and in that time exciting projects and initiatives to draw out-of-state visitation came to life. Throughout the articles in this e-newsletter, you will hear how digital media can drive tourism, obtain tips for tourism businesses and organizations on increasing a digital presence and how partnerships have increased the attraction of out-of-state visitors to Delaware.

Governor Carney Summer Kick OffIn this time of reflection, we share gratitude to the state's tourism industry which truly embodies the spirit of hospitality. From the businesses coming together for the summer kick-off celebration with Governor Carney to the partners with the sold out Visit Delaware Shuttle Program, it truly shows that by working together, we thrive together.

In celebrating summer, at the beaches we see families from across the region arrive for a weekend of sunny oceanside magic. Music fans from across the country descend on central Delaware for the jam-packed Firefly Music Festival. And in the rolling hills of the Brandywine, visitors flock to blossom-filled gardens of the DuPont estates.

From upstate to downstate, from the scenic outdoor spots to trend-setting restaurants, travelers are heading our way because they are hearing the great news about our state: Delaware is a true destination—a place that millions regard as a convenient, affordable and friendly place to stay for a day, a weekend or longer.

As summer begins strong and new programs thrive, we also reflect on the positive impact travelers bring to Delaware:

● The tourism industry contributed $3.4 billion to the state’s GDP in 2017.
● Without the boost from tourism, each Delaware household would have paid an extra $1,468 in taxes in 2017.
● Tourism is the fourth largest private employment sector in the state, accounting for more than 43,000 jobs in hotels, restaurants and many other locally owned businesses.
● In 2017 there were 9 million visitors to Delaware, including solid growth from the New York and Philadelphia markets, where the Delaware Tourism Office (DTO) has been focusing much of its advertising.

Those are powerful numbers for our state, indicators of benefits from tourists that have only grown over time. The annual impact of tourism on the state’s GDP has risen 62 percent since 2010. The number of yearly travelers is up 27 percent in that time frame. Both of these have contributed to 10 percent job growth in the sector.

Now is the time to take it to the next level and expand upon existing sustainable growth.

Reinvestment into tourism promotion allows the Delaware Tourism Office to continue to be a strong, revenue-producing agency for the state – helping not just to grow Delaware’s coffers but also increasing the state’s quality of life.

The office’s message is a simple and effective one: Delaware is a place of Endless Discoveries and memorable experiences.

Tripadvisor adThrough direct sales in key segments, like sports or group tour, production of inspiring television commercials and creation of engaging online media content and cooperative efforts with many wonderful partners across the state, we are sharing that message daily, hourly, 365 days a year.

Cooperative efforts with the tourism office’s many wonderful partners in the tourism industry throughout Delaware has spread the message farther and wider in the past year. Working with city/county tourism organizations, small businesses and other state agencies helps increase awareness of Delaware, bringing new visitors and delivering economic benefit.

As we move forward in growing the tourism industry and its impact to Delaware, we must look at how consistent, even increasing, support and reinvestment in award-winning marketing campaigns and the state’s tireless tourism organizations will keep this revenue stream flowing.

We invite all Delawareans to join us in celebrating the tourism industry. Take time to thank the front-line workers in restaurants, hotels, local coffee shops, etc. who are welcoming travelers every day to our state. Use this time to be a tourist in your home state by exploring the attractions in your own backyard or to bring friends and families to explore our beautiful Endless Discoveries.