What’s good for visitors is good for Delaware

Eight million visitors added $3 billion to state economy in 2014.

Linda Parkowski
Linda Parkowski
Guest Columnist

Delaware is poised to have a great summer — great for visitors, great for businesses and great for the state.

Beachgoers can enjoy a long list of new things to do for summer 2016. Most notably, there are new places to eat and drink all over the resort area.

Delaware favorite, Dogfish Head, expanded its footprint in downtown Rehoboth with its new restaurant, Chesapeake & Maine. Rehoboth also now boasts the reimagined Fork & Flask at Nage. Dewey Beach Club and The Starboard Raw are new to the main strip through Dewey Beach.

Visit Delaware recently expanded its Beer, Wine & Spirits Trail just ahead of the summer travel season. There are now more craft beverage makers on the trail than ever. The list includes a number of additions at the beaches — Beach Time Distilling and Crooked Hammock Brewery in Lewes, Big Oyster Brewing in Rehoboth and Dewey Beer Co. in Dewey.

Options for family fun and entertainment at the beaches are growing, too. Let’s start with spending time in the great outdoors. The Cape Henlopen fishing pier recently reopened to the public. And the Resort at Massey’s Landing is a brand new site for RVs, camping and more that opened along the Inland Bays Memorial Day Weekend.

There is also more than ever to do indoors. Escape Rehoboth is an exciting new favorite for people who love the thrill of racing against the clock to complete a series of mind-bending puzzles. The Clear Space Theater in Rehoboth Beach expanded its 2016 season. And construction at the new Lefty’s Alley and Eats in Lewes is moving along swiftly. It will soon be a wonderful place for everyone to spend a day.

And obviously, there are Delaware’s five-star beaches themselves, consistently rated the cleanest on the East Coast by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The beaches are in great shape, which is welcome news for visitors and locals alike. DNREC’s resident beach expert has said the beaches are doing well, and there’s plenty of room for fun. And he predicts the beaches will only get better as the summer continues.

A strong summer season is essential for the Delaware tourism industry and the state’s economy as a whole. Tourism is the fourth largest public employment sector in Delaware. It generated $3 billion for the state in 2014 from a record 8 million visitors. All of that created $470 million in fees and taxes for local and state governments. Moreover, considering all the new places opening up, tourism is spurring new business.

Visit Delaware works constantly to increase awareness of the state as a vacation destination. For the past two years, television advertisements airing around the East Coast have boosted Delaware’s profile and visibility. All signs point to the positive effect this is having on drawing in visitors.

This state we call home has so much for travelers to discover. And the wide and increasing array of attractions, especially at the beaches, is available not just to people passing through the state but to each and every Delawarean. The tourism industry increases the quality of life here and makes the state a more fun and exciting place to live. 

Linda Parkowski is director of the Delaware Office of Tourism.

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