Photos: Acting Governor Kim Guadagno; Congressman Chris Smith at Jenkinson’s Aquarium
POINT PLEASANT–Acting Governor Kim Guadagno Kicksoff “Show Your Love for the Jersey Shore” in Point Pleasant Beach and Continues “Open for Business” Tour in Sea Bright and Little Silver on Tuesday.
ABOUT SHOW YOUR LOVE FOR THE JERSEY SHORE:
Acting Governor Kim Guadagno kicked off “Show Your Love for the Jersey Shore,” a public-private initiative designed to encourage the public to visit and support restaurants, hotels, local businesses and entertainment venues along the Jersey shore for Valentine’s Day and beyond.
“Tourism is a critical economic engine for New Jersey, particularly along our shore. It is an industry that contributes significantly to the health of our communities by creating jobs and bringing revenue into our shore towns,” said Acting Governor Guadagno. “I encourage residents and visitors to ‘Show Your Love for the Jersey Shore’ by supporting local shore area businesses through Valentine’s Day and the months ahead. Through this initiative, we will continue to demonstrate support for local businesses recovering from Sandy and show that the Jersey Shore is still a great place to have fun and create memories.”
The New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism and the State’s shore tourism partners will use their social media network, consisting of Facebook and Twitter, to distribute news and information about special promotions offered by shore area attractions. New Jersey destination marketing organizations (DMOs) will also post this information, along with the “Show Your Love for the Jersey Shore” logo, on their websites.
“Superstorm Sandy has caused damage and destruction like we have never witnessed here in New Jersey,” said U.S. Small Business Administration’s New Jersey District Director Al Titone. “This initiative is a reminder to all of us that small business owners along the Jersey Shore are resilient, are open for business, and need our support. This is a great opportunity to get behind local merchants who are looking to get back on track.”
“The New Jersey Destination Marketing Organizations support positive initiatives that promote the state to its visitors. The ‘Show Your Love’ initiative allows the business community along the shore area to shine. By partnering with federal and state agencies, I am hopeful the word will continue to spread quickly that the shore we all love is ready and waiting for visitors,” said Lori Pepenella, statewide chair of NJDMOs and Destination Marketing Director of the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce.
Before Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey’s tourism industry had been on the rebound with tourists spending $38 billion on their visits to the Garden State in 2011. The new visitor expenditures were just shy of the all-time high of $39.5 billion reached in 2007 and are a 7 percent increase over 2010 figures.
In 2011, domestic visits to New Jersey jumped 14.6 percent, representing an increase in domestic trip volume from roughly 68 million visitors in 2010 to 80 million visitors in 2011. Out-of-state visitors, which drive New Jersey tourism revenue, accounted for 64 percent of all tourism revenue, followed by resident/in-state (25 percent), and international visitors (9 percent).
Equally important, tourism-related employment began to recover in 2011, directly supporting 312,000 jobs and $9.56 billion in wages and salaries last year. When combined with indirect and induced jobs, the total climbs to 486,000, or nearly 10 percent of all New Jersey jobs.