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Rocky Gap Lodge hosting tourism industry conference

November 16, 2006

CUMBERLAND, Md. - Rocky Gap Lodge & Golf Resort near Cumberland is hosting the Governor's Tourism Industry Conference through Friday.

This year's theme, "Maryland Tourism Moving Mountains" celebrates the contributions the industry has made to the state's economy.

The objective of the conference is for professionals to exchange ideas and learn new strategies to promote Maryland's destinations, rich cultural and historic heritage, world-class sites and attractions and beautiful natural resources.

"Maryland offers something for everyone and our goal is to get the word out to our neighbors and to the nation," says Dennis Castleman, assistant secretary for Tourism, Film and the Arts in the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. "Whether vacationers are looking for great golf on one of the state's many championship courses or hiking and biking along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Maryland is an ideal destination."

One of the events during the conference will be a legislative panel discussion. The Town Hall Meeting with Maryland legislators will discuss the impact that hospitality and tourism have on the state and local economies and on Maryland's quality of life. Zoning, taxation, public transportation, community branding, housing, the industry 'voice' etc will be discussed. Tom Riford, the president and CEO of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, will be the moderator of the high-profile panel presentation.

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Maryland welcomes more than 27 million visitors each year bringing in more than $10 billion dollars to the economy and helping to create 115,000 jobs. Washington County hosted more than 1.3-million tourists last year, who spent more than $187-million. There are more than 5,700 people working in Washington County in the tourism industry (Leisure and Hospitality classification).

For more information about the conference, see:www.mdisfun.org/travel_partners/governorsconference.asp.

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