MARYLAND

Maryland tourism better than ever

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HANOVER, Md. (AP) - Maryland tourism officials say more tourists than ever are visiting the state despite an anemic economy.

The Maryland Office of Tourism says the state attracted 35.4 million visitors in 2012. Leisure travel led the increase, growing 6.7 percent last year and 39 percent since 2007. The Daily Record reports the new figures were announced at the annual Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit this week.

Officials say new attractions, including casinos, have helped boost the industry. Margot Amelia, executive director of the office, also credits a change in marketing strategy from a summer push to a yearlong effort. She says investments in attractions like National Harbor and Maryland Live Casino have also helped.

However, she says hotels around the state are still affected by the recession.

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