The Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau (AAACCVB) has established a scholarship fund designed to make it easier for Anne Arundel County residents to pursue careers in tourism. That’s the announcement AAACCVB President and CEO Connie Del Signore made during her organization’s National Tourism Day festivities at Rams Head On Stage earlier today.
Flanked by Maryland State Senator John Astle, Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh, Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides, U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President Gary Oster, and Acting Assistant Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development’s Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts, Bill Pencek, Del Signore and AAACCVB Board Chairman Erin McNaboe presented a check for $12,500 to the Maryland Tourism Education Foundation (MTEF). At the same time, Del Signore and McNaboe challenged AAACCVB members and partners, elected officials, and tourism industry leaders in attendance to match the donation – achieving a scholarship fund of $25,000 – in time for the AAACCVB’s 25th Anniversary celebration on September 17. Senator Astle responded to the challenge on the spot by presenting a $500 check to MTEF.
In keeping with the U.S. Travel Association’s ‘fill in the blank’ theme for this year’s May 2-10 National Travel and Tourism Week celebration, “Travel is ___,” the AAACCVB is rallying around “Travel is Jobs.” According to a 2015 Choice Communications Systems study, the tourism industry in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County directly employed 34,737 individuals (17% of private sector jobs) and accounted for $932.3 million in wages in 2014.
As Del Signore sees it, “Our industry is a significant player in Anne Arundel County’s economy. We can help keep it that way by providing promising individuals with the help they need to jump start a career in travel and tourism. Our young people are the future of the hospitality industry. Money spent on helping them realize their dreams will come back to the community and our nation one hundredfold.”
In accepting the check on behalf of the 501(c)3 tax-exempt charitable foundation, MTEF President Deb Carter thanked the AAACCVB for its commitment to the future of tourism. According to Carter, “The Maryland Tourism Education Foundation is dedicated to building the capabilities of Maryland’s tourism workforce. We do this in part by identifying and assisting promising individuals who will add to the strength and vitality of the industry. Every dollar that comes into our foundation goes toward achieving that goal. ” The number of scholarships awarded and the amount of the scholarships will be determined by MTEF in cooperation with the AAACCVB based on the total amount of money raised during the challenge. The deadline for submitting applications for the scholarship is July 31, 2015.
Contribution forms for the AAACCVB’s 25th Anniversary Scholarship Fund and/or scholarship application forms are available through the AAACCVB, MTEF and the Maryland Tourism Coalition (MTC). MTEF will also distribute application forms through its established network of colleges and universities.
The AAACCVB is a nonprofit, membership-based destination marketing organization that generates revenues for the local economy by promoting Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay to leisure and business travelers across the country and around the world.