The National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland, is the catalyst for US$455m (€386m, £345m) in economic activity across the state every year, a new study has shown.
The research, carried out by Sage Policy Group, reveals the wide-ranging economic impact of the attraction, which draws thousands of visitors to Maryland and creates around 4,500 direct and indirect jobs for the state.
“The National Aquarium is an important pillar for our state’s economy, supporting jobs, tourism and revenue,” said Mike Gill, secretary of the Maryland Department of Commerce.
The figure has risen since Sage’s last economic impact assessment, which was carried out in 2012 and found the aquarium generated around US$320m (€271m, £242m) per year.
According to the new report, the National Aquarium creates US$360m (€305m, £272m) and 3,900 jobs for the city of Baltimore, raising US$9m (€7.63m, £6.81m) in tax revenue for the city and US$20m (€16m, £15m) for the state.
The popular facility attracted 1.3 million guests in 2016, with 83 per cent arriving from outside the region. Of those, nine out of 10 visitors said a trip to the aquarium was their main reason for coming to Baltimore and a third of them were staying in the city for at least one night. Their spend on accommodation, eating out and getting around creates US$155m (€131m, £117m) annually for the local economy.
“We're proud to be a longstanding economic driver for the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland, expanding our ability to strengthen communities and inspire conservation,” said John Racanelli, National Aquarium president and chief executive officer. “Our goal is to serve as a key resource for our region and state, providing engaging guest experiences, valuable educational programmes and meaningful conservation initiatives.”
More on the study, compiled by Sage, here