Investing in the great outdoors

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Good afternoon,

As the top story in our daily newsletter notes, a key component of the state’s tourism economy is outdoor recreation.

The Chesapeake Bay Conservancy, citing data from a recently released federal report, noted that three percent of Delaware’s jobs are tied to the outdoors.

That happens to be the highest percentage of outdoor-related jobs among the Chesapeake Bay states – all with plenty of outdoor attractions.

While the report is based on 2019 data, the outdoors remains a bright spot during the pandemic.

More people are outside in 2020 for obvious reasons.

Boat, bike, recreational vehicle, and kayak sales have remained strong despite a high jobless rate. Delaware continues to invest in state parks, docks, bike-hike trails, and other infrastructure.

Nearby states will not ignore the trends cited in the federal report.

Our neighbors are already turning to the dwindling reserve of federal CARES funds to aid the tourism industry, one nearby example being Lancaster.

Right now, the sources of funding for tourism promotion are down sharply since Delaware relies on the hotel room tax as well as the popularity of the state’s cultural attractions and beaches.

Over the years, Delaware’s meager tourism promotion budgets have drawn visitors with a more targeted message. That effort should be stepped up.

As yet another story in the newsletter notes, the state is gaining millions of dollars in free publicity, thanks to a recent election that has Joe Biden a step away from the White House.

Targeted spending that emphasizes the state great outdoors and its presence on the national stage is a no-brainer for CARES funding. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.

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