The New Jersey Tourism Industry Association (NJTIA) is a non-profit trade organization with a membership that represents every aspect of NJ’s multi billion tourism industry. In recognition of National Travel & Tourism Week the group gathered leaders and professionals at the Old Masonic Temple in Trenton to share news that will shape the future of tourism at local, regional and statewide levels to move New Jersey past other states competing for the same national and international dollars.
The breakfast began with introductions from Advocacy Day Chair, Joann DelVescio, Executive Director of New Jersey Campground Owners Association serving as NJTIA Board Treasurer. Welcoming remarks were made by President of NJTIA Lori Pepenella, CEO of Southern Ocean County Chamber. On behalf of the Board she announced that the NJ Destination Marketing Organizations, which represent regional marketing efforts across the state has been voted in to become the DMO Marketing Division of NJTIA. Pepenella stated ” By expanding NJTIA’s advocacy efforts to this new division it only strengthens the endeavors of tourism from across the state to work blending strategies and solidify our industry.” She also discussed the forward movement of the partnership with the Lloyd D. Levinson Institute at the Stockton School of Business and NJTIA as the rollout continues for the Certified Tourism Industry Professional – CTIP program. Legislative updates were given by Matt Halpin, Partner at Public Strategies Impact with achieved increased funding for state tourism marketing and ongoing assistance for employers in the hospitality sector.
State Division of Travel and Tourism Update from Jasaun Boon, NJ Department of State Chief of Staff announced tremendous gains in tourism recovery in 2021. Adam Sacks of Tourism Economics shared data on how NJ visitor spending recovered nearly half of its pandemic losses at $37.3 Billion. The state welcomed 92.3 million visitors this past year, tourism employment supported 1 in 12 jobs with visitors generating $4.6 Billion in state and local taxes, the equivalent to $1400 in tax savings for every NJ household.
In 2021 Ocean County saw visitor spending (in millions) $1.4715 in Lodging, $1.241 in Food & Beverage, $931.7 in retail, $556.8 in recreation, and $472.2 in transportation. with a growth rate of 20%