By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A lot of people brought a lot more money to Maryland last year.

The State Office of Tourism reports there were fewer visitors, but they spent more money.

The Economic Impact of Tourism in Maryland report was announced Wednesday at the annual Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit.

The report says visitors to Maryland spent more than $18 billion last year, up about 2.1% from the previous year.

“Spending is up for the ninth year in a row,” Kelly Schulz, of the Maryland Department of Commerce, said.

Overall visitation decreased from 42.5 million to 41.9 million in 2018, but the decrease was offset by increases in visitor per-trip spending. That was driven by longer stays at more in-state destinations.

The report says most of Maryland’s visitors came by car. However, the Thurgood Marshall Baltimore-Washington International Airport served a record 27.2 million passengers last year.

“We do have everything rolled into one, we are America in the miniature,” Schulz said. “We have the mountains, we have the fun frolicking at the Bay along the beaches, we have casinos, we have history. We have a whole lot of interesting activities suitable for any type of tourist that wants to come into the state.”

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