Tourism & HospitalityTourism & Hospitality

“Put your makeup on and fix your hair up pretty / And meet me tonight in Atlantic City." It’s been twenty-five plus years since Bruce Springsteen’s famous plea, and millions of tourists continue to pour into New Jersey each year. In addition to the resort/gaming attraction of Atlantic City, New Jersey’s tourism and hospitality industry boasts the leisure opportunities of the Jersey Shore, the Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park and other regional attractions, as well as easy access to and from New York City and Philadelphia.


  • Leisure, hospitality and retail (LHR) is comprised of four components:  retail trade (56.0% of employment), food services/drinking places (29.0%), accommodation (8.0%) and arts/entertainment/recreation (7.0%).
  • Many of the businesses within LHR directly and indirectly support the state's tourism industry, the state's 3rd largest industry, according to the Division of Travel and Tourism.
  • LHR represented $41.7 billion, or 8.8 percent, of the state's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2009.
  • LHR jobholding totaled 766,410 in 2009, or 24 percent, of the state's private sector workforce.
  • New Jersey LHR employers paid more than $20 billion in wages during 2009, or 11.6 percent, of the state total.
  • Over the past two decades, LHR added nearly 62,000 new jobs in New Jersey or about 28 percent of the state's employment gain since 1990.  However, its share of total employment increased only slightly during this period, from 19.5 percent in 1990 to 20.0 percent in 2010.

*Source:  NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Labor Planning & Analysis, New Jersey Key Industry Clusters (7/20/11) and New Jersey Labor Market Views (4/11/11).


Tourism jobs generally fall within one of four main career paths:

  • Skilled Trade Workers (e.g., food preparation workers, maids/housekeeping cleaners)
  • Managers (gaming supervisors, food service managers)
  • Customer Service (waiters/waitresses, hotel clerks, gaming dealers)
  • Safety/Security (security guards)

Successful workers in the tourism industry must:

  • communicate clearly with the public
  • work well within a team structure
  • be able to solve problems quickly