Tourism summit provides new outlook and travel data

December 18, 2021

The Delaware Tourism Summit was held Dec. 2 in Wilmington.

More than 160 professionals from the industry’s small businesses and nonprofit organizations took part in a day of learning that delivered helpful knowledge and a boost of energy for businesses focused on moving ahead.

“In 2022, Delaware’s tourism industry has much to look forward to, and with your continued creativity, hard work and enthusiasm, we hope it will be a positive year for this industry,” said Gov. John Carney. “I want to thank all of you for the resilience and innovation you’ve shown during a challenging two years. It was difficult to take some of the steps we had to take during the height of the pandemic, but thanks to your resilience and innovation, you came out stronger and ready for a bright future.”

Attendees gained training from local and national experts in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts; marketing; videography; social media analytics; and tips on reconnecting with co-workers in a post-remote world.

Keynote speaker Andrew Davis said the industry will continue to see increased demand in 2022. He provided best practices to Delaware’s destinations on how to sell and market their businesses during a time of information overload.

Delaware estimates a 31 percent increase in hotel occupancy for 2021, and a 50 percent jump in hotel revenue compared with 2020.

“We’re seeing visitors coming from new markets like Pittsburgh, Chicago, Boston and Atlanta, which are areas that the Delaware Tourism Office targeted during an impactful awareness campaign in January of this year,” said Jeff Bullock, Delaware secretary of state. “Through innovative strategies and working together across private and public sectors, we will continue to move the tourism industry forward, which is a vital part of the state's economy, contributing over 44,000 jobs statewide.”

At the Delaware Tourism Summit, Longwood International, a national market research firm, shared that Delaware is also attracting increasing numbers of younger visitors, specifically those in the 18-34 age group, who now represent more than half of all visitors. Delaware also has a high rate of satisfaction among visitors, which results not only in return visitors, but also economic development opportunities for relocation and business development.

“Over the past year, we have worked to provide resources and educational opportunities to the tourism industry based on their top concerns and challenges, including the summit, online webinars, an educational portal and the Destination Development Program,” said Liz Keller, Delaware Tourism Office director. “We wanted to end the year with as much information as possible so that our small business and nonprofit organization professionals have all of the tools needed to make 2022 a success.”

The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, is a division of the Delaware Division of Small Business. The DTO promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware. For more information, go to or call toll-free 866-284-7483.

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