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Study says tourism a growing force in Delaware

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. — A new study from the Delaware Tourism Department shows the $2.1 billion industry has become a top economic driver for the state.

The Daily Times of Salisbury reports the study by D.K. Shifflet and Associates and Vantage Strategy shows tourism employs 39,000 people and attracts 7 million visitors annually to Delaware. The study is based on 2010 data.

The study shows tourism is the third largest private employer in the state. It generated $400 million in state and local taxes and fees in 2010.

Carol Everhart, president of the Rehoboth-Dewey Chamber of Commerce, says trends are changing. She says resort towns are seeing fewer extended stays and more weekend trips throughout the year.

Officials say Ocean City, Md., also is seeing shorter stays but hope visitors make multiple trips.