Delaware Tourism Industry Study Results

2010 Analysis Substantiates the Value of Tourism to First State

DOVER – A study was conducted by D.K.Shifflet & Associates Ltd. and Vantage Strategy, a research firm and consulting firm respectively, to determine the economic impact of tourism in the State of Delaware. The study shows that the tourism industry is a principal economic driver in Delaware and substantiates the value of the tourism industry to the First State. Key points stemming from the 2010 study are reflected in the quotes below and subsequent facts.

“The tourism industry stands strong as the third largest private employer in Delaware and an important part of our local economy,” said Governor Jack Markell. “Visitors to our state contribute to our economic well-being by helping to create jobs at all income levels. They cultivate local businesses and communities and contribute to a greater quality of life for all Delawareans.”

“Delaware tourism has grown to a $2.1 billion industry that employs 39,000 people and attracts over 7 million visitors to the First State each year,” stated Alan Levin, Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office. “If the tourism industry can achieve sustainable growth during challenging economic times, just imagine the potential that the future holds.”

“In 2010, tourism generated $400 million in state and local government taxes and fees,” said Linda Parkowski, Director of Tourism, Delaware Tourism Office. “Each Delaware household would pay $114 more in taxes each year to maintain current levels of state and local taxes without the benefit of tourism in the First State.”
The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, DE, a division of the Delaware Economic Development Office, promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware. For more information, visit the official Delaware Tourism website at or call toll-free (866) 284-7483.


  • Tourism’s total contribution to Delaware’s 2010 Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the total market value of goods and services produced by the State’s economy, is $2.1 billion.
  • Delaware’s 2010 Gross State Product (GSP) grew at roughly half the rate of Delaware Tourism.
  • The Delaware tourism industry is the third largest private employer in the state, employing 39,000 people.
  • In 2010, more than 7 million people visited Delaware.
  • A total of 1.5 million people traveled to Delaware on business and 5.6 million traveled for leisure.
  • Tourism generated $400 million in state and local government taxes/fees in 2010.
  • Delaware state and local tourism tax revenue grew at nearly twice the rate of overall state tax receipts in 2010.
  • Without tourism in Delaware, each Delaware household would pay $114 more in taxes to maintain current levels of state and local taxes.
  • The average visitor spent $545 per trip in 2010.
  • About $98 per visitor represents tax receipts.
  • The top 2010 spending categories and visitor activities were shopping and dining.
  • On average, the typical 2010 visitor to Delaware was 47 years of age with a household income of $94,322 which was higher than the national average.
  • The top 2010 markets of origin included surrounding metropolitan areas in the Mid-Atlantic region.
  • The top 2010 origin states included states along the East Coast with a concentration in the Mid-Atlantic region and as far away as upstate New York and the State of Florida.
  • Seasonal homes increased 40% from 2000-2010 and account for over 28.3% of all housing units in Sussex County.
  • Had seasonal home rental spending been subject to Delaware’s Public Accommodation Tax, an additional $72 million in state revenue would have been generated in one year.

Resources: D.K. Shifflet & Associates Ltd and Vantage Strategy. For a full study report, visit