Report: Delaware tourism sets new records

Dover, Del. – Delaware tourism experienced a record-breaking year as the state welcomed 9.2 million visitors who accounted for $3.5 billion in economic impact.

Gov. John Carney highlighted those impressive numbers in discussing Delaware’s thriving tourism industry as part of his State of the State address on Thursday.

According to data for 2018 released today by the Delaware Tourism Office, visitors paid $545.1 million in state and local taxes and fees, without which each Delaware household would have had to pay an additional $1,562 in taxes.

“Tourism is a multibillion-dollar industry in Delaware, our fourth-largest private employment sector and a vital part of the state economy,” Gov. Carney said. “By supporting tourism, we also enhance the quality of life for all Delawareans by offering recreational and cultural activities and making sure there’s even more cool stuff to do in Delaware.”

“Delaware benefits from a strong tourism industry,” Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock said. “More than 44,000 people work in the industry in Delaware, which includes hundreds of small businesses and nonprofit organizations.”

For visitors to Delaware, the most popular activities in 2018 were, in order, tax-free shopping, dining and beaches. Visitors spent an average of $346 during their stay in 2018.

More than two-thirds of visitors came from nearby metropolitan areas in the mid-Atlantic and northeast with Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York and Washington, D.C., being among the most popular origination markets.

“At the Delaware Tourism Office, we share Delaware’s ‘Endless Discoveries’ with out-of-state travelers each year,” Delaware Tourism Office Director Liz Keller said. “From launching award-winning marketing campaigns to embracing innovative technology, we are proud to share what makes Delaware an ideal destination and help create a positive economic impact for our state.”

In 2018, the Delaware Tourism Office launched several initiatives to drive visitation, including a national, multimedia ad campaign, a 360-degree virtual reality tour of Delaware attractions and attendance at national consumer and travel industry trade shows where DTO highlighted Delaware’s “Endless Discoveries” in conversations with potential travelers.

The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, Del., is part of the Delaware Division of Small Business. DTO promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware. For more information, visit the official Delaware Tourism website at www.visitdelaware.com or call toll-free (866) 284-7483.

Sources: D.K. Shifflet & Associates and Rockport Analytics. For the 2018 Delaware tourism industry report, visit http://www.visitdelaware.com/industry/tourism-statistics.

Media Contact
Michael Chesney
Director of Communications
Division of Small Business
Michael.Chesney@state.de.us
(302) 577- 8472 (office)
(302) 943-9508 (cell)


DNREC confirms that 46.5-pound golden tilefish establishes new state record for deep-water species

LEWES – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife has confirmed a new state record in the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament: a 46-pound, 8-ounce golden tilefish, caught in the Atlantic Ocean Aug. 25 by Tom Schanno of Halethorpe, Md. – with the catch establishing a record for the golden tilefish, a deep-water offshore species that has been recognized by the tournament only since 2010. The tilefish was 47 inches long and had a girth of 29 inches.

Schanno caught the fish in the Baltimore Canyon 62 nautical miles from the Indian River Inlet while aboard a charter boat captained by Frank Perna. The golden tilefish took a 5-oz. chartreuse and silver butterfly jig in 530 feet of water. Leveraging the fish off the ocean floor took 10 minutes, at which time another 10-minute fight ensued before Schanno was able to bring the fish alongside the boat.

The record catch was weighed at Hook’em & Cook’em, an official Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament weigh station in Rehoboth Beach, and initially confirmed by DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Officer AFC Adam Roark.

For all state fishing records, please visit the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Delaware Fishing Records page.

More information on the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament can be found in the 2017 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and from license agents throughout the state.

CONTACT: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


State record 36-pound, 3.2-ounce catfish caught from the Nanticoke River near Seaford

SEAFORD – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife has confirmed a new state record in the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament: a 36-pound, 3.2-ounce blue catfish, caught June 20 by Jordan Chelton of Harrington. The fish was 38½ inches long and had a girth of 27½ inches.

New Delaware Catfish Record
Jordan Chelton of Harrington with his state-record 36 lb., 3.2 oz blue catfish.

Chelton caught the fish in the upper Nanticoke River near Seaford on 12-pound test line with a chunk of Atlantic menhaden (bunker). The catfish took the bait about 9:30 p.m. Chelton landed it almost a half hour later.

The record catch was initially confirmed by Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police-officer AFC Adam Roark, and verified at Taylored Tackle Shop in Seaford. Delaware has one state catfish record, now held by Jordan Chelton, that stands for any catfish species caught here. The previous catfish record holder was Gavin Spicer, who caught a 25-pound, 5.6-ounce catfish, also a blue catfish, from the Nanticoke just two months earlier, on April 21. For all state freshwater fishing records, please visit the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Delaware Fishing Records page.

More information on the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament is found in the 2017 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and from license agents throughout the state.

Media Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


New Delaware record 20.5-pound false albacore taken in Masseys Canyon by Pennsylvania angler

State record false albacore caught by Tim Parrill of Wellsville, Pa.
Tim Parrill, left, of Wellsville, Pa., shows off his state record 20.5-pound false albacore, with fishing buddy Scott Shockley, right. Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police photo by Lt. Casey Zolper.

LEWES – On the eve of what many consider the biggest recreational fishing weekend of the year, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife has confirmed a new state record in the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament – a false albacore caught June 29 by a Pennsylvania angler from the fishing boat Get Bent in Masseys Canyon, about 35 miles offshore from Indian River Inlet in the Atlantic Ocean.

Tim Parrill of Wellsville, Pa., caught the record fish – which measured 30.75 inches long, had a 22-inch girth and weighed 20.5 pounds – with Capt. Steve Lednum at the helm of Get Bent. The false albacore was weighed at Hook ‘Em & Cook ‘Em in Rehoboth Beach and certified as a new state record by Lieutenant Casey Zolper of DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police.

The fish outweighed by a half-pound the previous state record 20-pound false albacore, caught in 2008 by Christian Anderson. A member of the tuna family, also known as “little tunny,” the false albacore is a popular game fish for its fight and run against an angler’s line. It is also the most plentiful of the tuna in the Atlantic Ocean and can make fine seafood when properly prepared.

For more information on the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament, click on 2016 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and from license agents throughout the state.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 46, No. 241