The Maryland Office of Tourism Development has released its 2009 edition of Destination Maryland: The Official Guide to Maryland State Travel. This free travel magazine highlights Maryland and includes annual events, itineraries, in addition to listings for more than 2,000 attractions and destinations, state and national parks, lodging, and tour and travel services.

The guide also includes a “Maryland Welcome! Passport,” good for up to $3,500 in savings at 250 attractions, restaurants, retailers and places to stay. To obtain a copy of Destination Maryland, call 800-719-5900 or visit Maryland’s tourism web site at The guide is also available at Maryland’s 11 Welcome Centers.

As tourism in Maryland continues to expand, new developments have been made to accommodate visitors’ needs. “This year, the Office of Tourism has launched an innovative online flip-book version of Destination Maryland, which will make the guide more accessible to a wider audience,” said Secretary Christian S. Johansson, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. “The new medium greatly enhances the reader experience, while lowering publishing and distribution costs.”

Destination Maryland was designed to inform visitors of what Maryland has to offer throughout the year. Organized by region, the magazine features events, historical sites, and attractions for visitors. Some of these attractions include family-friendly activities, sporting events and romantic getaways. Destination Maryland also has transportation tips, information for outdoor adventures and travel itineraries.

According to the Maryland Office of Tourism, more than 27 million visitors traveled to Maryland in 2007, spending $13.6 billion on tourism-related expenses — transportation, food, lodging, shopping, and entertainment. Tourism expenditures grew 2.9 percent compared to the previous year. Direct tourism-related employment is the eighth largest employment industry in Maryland. More than 140,000 people work in direct tourism jobs. Maryland tourism also contributed more than $1.7 billion to state and local funds.

The Maryland Office of Tourism is an agency of the Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts within the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.