The tourism industry is facing an uncertain future as state tourism and business owners look to make up the difference after a string of violent attacks and a state audit revealed that some businesses were not operating as safely as they should.
In a press conference Monday, Gov.
Larry Hogan said the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism has completed an audit that found the state is in a financial hole and needs to do more to improve safety and security for its tourism and hospitality industries.
The audit was completed last week, and Hogan said in a press release that the results will be released Tuesday.
He said that a “long-term solution” will be found.
Hogan said the audit, which was conducted by the state Department of Commerce, was done in collaboration with local and national agencies that are involved in tourism.
The audit was conducted to determine how to address the safety and safety of Maryland’s businesses, Hogan said.
The review also identified a number of issues, including the number of businesses that have not been updated since 2015 and the number and location of businesses where no staff are on duty.
“I think it’s very important for us to take the time to get these businesses operating and we need to make sure that when we get them operating they are safe,” Hogan said Monday.
The Maryland Department of Tourism and Recreation said the state needs to develop a safety plan and an integrated training plan that would include the training of all the businesses that are in the state.
Hogan said that the department will work with state, county and local government officials and businesses to implement a safety program.
Holland also said that Maryland is in the process of expanding its tourism industry.
Hogan has promised to make it a $2 billion industry and Hogan announced that Maryland will be the first state to establish a tourism tax credit that will be available for new businesses to attract jobs and tourism.
The tax credit will be worth $50,000 to $75,000 per year, depending on the number or size of businesses.
Holly Ann Wolk, executive director of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the safety issues highlighted by the audit are a serious one.
“We need to do a better job of keeping the businesses and the people safe, and I’m not sure what that will look like in the next three years,” Wolk said.
“We have an industry that is at risk of going bankrupt.”
Wolk said that while the business is in bad shape, the tourism industry has to take a hard look at its long-term future.
“What’s going to happen with this industry and what we can do about it in the future?
We can’t wait for this industry to collapse,” Wochl said.