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State, local officials meet to discuss tourism initiatives

July 18, 2010
Submitted photo,

Maryland tourism officials recently attended a meeting with partner organizations at Bridge of Life church on South Potomac Street in Hagerstown.

The meeting was held by the TADD (Tourism, Arts and Downtown Development) coalition, which represents a network of arts, business and heritage interests.

The five-county collaborative group includes business leaders, arts council directors, tourism officials, downtown development and city/town planning coordinators, and State of Maryland staffers. The group has met quarterly throughout Western Maryland for a little over two years.

The coalition discussed tourism initiatives, Hagerstown's Arts and Entertainment District and state and local arts councils. A networking lunch was held at Bulls and Bears restaurant.

State tourism officials presented Maryland's latest plans for tourism marketing, along with arts and development discussions.

Among the state officials at the meeting were Hannah Byron, assistant secretary for the Maryland Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts; Margot Amelia, executive director of the tourism office; Theresa Colvin, executive director of the Maryland State Arts Council; and Terry Hasseltine, executive director of the Maryland Office of Sports Marketing.

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Each of the state tourism and arts officials made presentations along with Tim Murphy, Maryland's assistant Main Street coordinator. Tom Riford, president and CEO of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, presented information about Washington County's tourism picture.

"This was an opportunity to hear what the state has been working on, and to get a preview of upcoming plans before they are announced," Riford said. "This was also a chance to invite collaboration for the upcoming fiscal year in light of current budgetary conditions."

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