TRENTON, NJ - The Christie Administration announced today that the Garden State set a new record in 2012, generating nearly $40 billion in total tourism demand. Visitor spending, capital investment and general government support of tourism surpassed the previous record of $39.5 billion reached in 2007, a 2.6 percent increase over 2011. Domestic visits to New Jersey also continued to rise, with a 4.8 percent increase to 82.5 million visits in 2012. Domestic trip volume in 2011 jumped 11.6 percent over 2010.
“While these 2012 results are positive and encouraging, we are still facing the challenges of the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. We must continue to look to the future and continue the steady progress of rebuilding,” said Governor Christie. “That’s why the Recovery Action Plan I announced last week includes $500 million in funding for several small business loan programs, as well as $25 million for an aggressive marketing effort to let potential visitors know that the Jersey Shore will be open for business this summer.”
According to The Economic Impact of Tourism Report released today by the Department of State, New Jersey’s travel and tourism industry directly supports 318,560 jobs, a 2 percent increase over 2011 and the largest single year percentage increase over the last six years. When combined with indirect and induced jobs, total travel and tourism related jobs exceed 500,000, or 10 percent of all New Jersey jobs.
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Last week the Christie Administration unveiled its proposed Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Action plan, which outlines how the state plans to use more than $1.8 billion in federal funding to rebuild and recover from Superstorm Sandy. The plan includes $500 million in funding for Small Business Grants of up to $50,000 to eligible businesses that sustained physical damage; no-interest loans for storm-impacted small businesses ranging from $100,000 to $5 million for documented physical damage not covered by other sources; and Neighborhood And Community Revitalization Programs to provide funding of up to $10 million to help communities rebuild commercial areas with public facility improvements. In addition, the plan has set aside funding for a tourism marketing campaign to promote storm-impacted businesses and shore communities. The $25 million campaign would also encourage New Jerseyans and tourists to shop local, thereby supporting companies that are operational.
Governor Christie’s commitment to the future of the state’s travel and tourism industry includes revitalizing the gaming and tourism industries in Atlantic City, and setting the region on a course for economic growth, job creation and prosperity. Already this year, the Christie Administration announced the addition of internet gaming and the return of Miss America to the world’s most famous boardwalk. In 2011, Governor Christie signed into law bills creating a tourism district within Atlantic City, with the charge of improving public safety, public health, marketing and infrastructure projects and improvements, and reforming and modernizing the state’s casino regulatory structure. The Governor also approved tax-increment financing by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to support much needed infrastructure improvements in Atlantic City’s South Inlet neighborhood.