Office of the Governor
DiFrancesco Highlights New Summer
Ad Campaign and International Marketing
Initiatives Aimed at Attracting New NJ Tourists
Announces 7 Percent Increase in Tourism
Revenue - Bringing State Totals to $30 Billion in 2000
Celebrating the strength and vitality of New Jersey's tourism industry, acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco today announced several new initiatives -- including a summer ad campaign aimed at promoting day trips and an increase in foreign language materials for the international market -- aimed at increasing an already booming tourist industry. DiFrancesco highlighted new figures showing tourism expenditures rose 7 percent to $30.1 billion in 2000 in his address at the annual Governor's Conference on Travel and Tourism in Atlantic City.
"In addition to today's new advertisement, for the first time a summer ad campaign will be launched in July and August. By targeting our message to what's happening in the market, like rising gas prices or rainy days, these ads are aimed at increasing day trips in New Jersey," stated DiFrancesco.
Day trips increased by 2 percent to 125.1 million from the previous year. Total expenditures by day travelers rose to $8.7 billion -- a 6 percent increase from 1999.
To attract international visitors to New Jersey, the tourism website (www.visitnj.org) will offer brochures and general information in five foreign languages by the end of next month.
"I remain committed to the industry's continued growth and expansion. That is why I recently signed legislation to provide funding for historic preservation projects and I am working aggressively to restore the beach replenishment program. Doing so ensures the future of our tourism industry by continuing to attract visitors in the years ahead," stated DiFrancesco.
The Office of Travel and Tourism is working to increase tourism on many fronts, including airing seasonal advertising campaigns in the United States and Canada like the one unveiled today, offering "Vacation Value Kits" featuring discount offers from 25 tourism partners for attractions throughout the state, and promoting the benefits of New Jersey as a choice location for corporate travel and conferences. Additionally, Travel and Tourism has joined forces with the Department of Transportation to upgrade state Welcome Centers, which assist more than 5 million visitors each year.
The acting Governor also requested the Legislature maintain this year's funding level for tourism, which included a $4 million increase, in order to continue to promote New Jersey tourism.
"As I've said many times, New Jersey's tourism industry is of paramount importance to the overall economy of the Garden State," said DiFrancesco. "I am delighted to have this opportunity, during National Tourism Week, to honor an industry that supports so many jobs throughout New Jersey's six tourism regions."
According to the latest research conducted by Longwoods International, overall trips to New Jersey increased to 169.1 million trips in 2000 up from 166.9 million the previous year. Total spending by overnight visitors rose to $19.5 billion in 2000 -- an increase of 7 percent from the $18.2 billion spent in 1999.
The new research indicates that New Jersey's image strengths are our pristine beaches and top-notch casinos. The study also indicates an improved perception about New Jersey as an exciting and unique destination providing a family atmosphere.
"A strong tourism industry is such an important part of our economy in New Jersey," said Charles E. (Sandy) Hance, CEO and Secretary of the New Jersey Commerce and Economic Growth Commission. "This past year's performance demonstrates again the Garden State's strength as an ideal vacation destination, creating more and more jobs and an enhanced quality of life for New Jerseyans."
Conference participants were able to attend seminars covering the latest strategies and trends in the tourism marketplace. Featured seminars included customer service, diversity marketing, and Internet marketing. Other seminars included presentations on New Jersey's motion picture industry, the state's transportation infrastructure and funding sources for business.
The theme of this year's tourism conference, which was attended by several hundred industry professionals, was 2001: A Tourism Odyssey. This year's Governor's Conference on Tourism was jointly sponsored by the New Jersey Commerce and Economic Growth Commission's Office of Travel and Tourism and the New Jersey Travel Industry Association.
National Tourism Week was established in 1983 to recognize and promote a wider understanding of travel and tourism as a major U.S. industry vital to the nation's economic stability and growth and which contributes substantially to our cultural and social well-being.