Jersey Shore not the biggest contributor to NJ tourism revenue in 2017
New Jersey's tourism industry brought in record numbers once again in 2017.
The latest figures show the Garden State has much more to offer outsiders than just beaches and boardwalks.
According to The Economic Impact of Tourism in New Jersey Report, released Monday by the Department of State's Division of Travel and Tourism, non-shore counties generated the largest share of tourism revenues — 52 percent.
"One of the things that we take for granted here in New Jersey is the real power of our historic attractions," said Vicki Clark, president of the New Jersey Tourism Industry Association. "Those attractions are really being marketed at the grassroots level in a way that has never really been done before in the state, and they're becoming more and more popular every year."
For the eighth straight year, an increase in visitor spending was led by spending in the food and beverage category, Clark noted. The state's beverage tourism — wineries, breweries and distilleries — is the driving force.
The tourism industry accounted for $45.4 billion in economic activity in 2017, the report said — an increase of nearly 3 percent over the previous year. The number of visitors to the state increased by 2.3 percent to 101 million.
“Tourism is an indispensable industry in New Jersey and will continue to be an integral force buoying the state’s economy as it contributes to job creation and increases tax revenue for the state,” said Secretary of State Tahesha Way.
The report forecasts continued growth in 2018, thanks to wage gains, solid consumer confidence and an uptick in vacation intentions.
The wildcard, as always, is the weather.