New Jersey’s tourism industry is comprised of diverse industries spanning many business sectors – lodging, recreation, retail, real estate, air passenger transport, food and beverage, car rental, taxi service and travel agents. Each plays an instrumental role in driving one of the state’s leading catalysts of investment and job creation.
According to recent study of the industry’s economic impact by Princeton-based Tourism Economics in 2013, tourism-driven demand in the state surpassed a record $40 billion dollars, while welcoming more than 87 million visitors to New Jersey.
The Division of Travel and Tourism, located within the Department of State, is keenly aware of how the industry supports so many diverse businesses throughout New Jersey. That is why we support and partner with the state’s Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) and others to achieve our shared goal of marketing and promoting tourism attractions and events, accommodations, restaurants and other venues in every region of the state. In doing so, these efforts help draw potential customers to New Jersey, support tourism-based businesses of all shapes and sizes, and help grow our local and state economies.
While New Jersey is well known for its 130 miles of scenic beaches, the strength of the state as a destination – and what makes it such a unique and powerful tourism brand – is truly the eclecticism of its appeal. From north to south, east to west and all points in-between, there is never a shortage of highlights for visitors of all ages and interests.
With the Manhattan skyline, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island as a spectacular backdrop, Liberty State Park is a stunning, green oasis in the middle of Metropolitan northern New Jersey. In Newark, the world-renowned Newark Museum has been presenting fabulous exhibits for more than a century. And, of course, Newark is also home to the Ironbound District, renowned for its Portuguese, Brazilian and Spanish cuisine.
Centrally located in the heart of the state, New Brunswick is a shining star in New Jersey’s urban center circuit. With its bustling downtown area and Theater Row, which boasts the Crossroads Theatre Company, George Street Playhouse and State Theatre, New Brunswick is an arts and cultural treasure. And the fact that it is both the proud home of Rutgers – the State University of New Jersey – and some of the region’s most renowned, four-star restaurants and popular entertainment venues only adds to its considerable appeal.
Without question, the same can be said of beautiful and historic Princeton, yet another iconic New Jersey town. Immortalized by renowned writers, artists, scholars and world leaders, it has leading museums, a rich revolutionary war heritage and the prestigious Ivy League University – it’s another one of the state’s foremost cultural and historical attractions.
In the scenic northern reaches of the state lies the Crystal Springs Resort in Vernon, known for its world-class golf, breathtaking views and fabulous accommodations, such as the family-friendly Minerals Hotel and the magnificent Grand Cascades Lodge.
Of course, any discussion of New Jersey’s unique appeal must include its magnificent beaches and boardwalks. Great attractions such Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach is a Jersey Shore institution boasting entertainment for people of all ages. Amusements, an aquarium, sweet shops, games and a nightclub plus special events and a white, sandy beach means you’ll have more fun than you can shake on a funnel cake.
Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport is where the rich history of thoroughbred racing meets the very best entertainment of today. This “Resort of Racing” is a beautifully amended racetrack recognized the world over. In Wildwood, the famous Morey’s Piers offers more than 100 exciting amusement park rides and attractions, including two beachfront waterparks, kiddie rides, roller coasters and more. In fact, several towns with similar attractions and family-friendly experiences are a short drive away up-and-down the state’s Atlantic coastline. For that reason alone, it’s no wonder Sports Illustrated shot its 2014 swimsuit issue at various locations throughout the Jersey Shore.
Within a short drive, you will find Atlantic City’s 11 luxurious hotel casino resorts. Throughout the year, the legendary resort city is brimming with top-name entertainers, world-class dining, premium shopping, dazzling attractions and exciting gaming.
Lastly, there’s a reason New Jersey is affectionately called the Garden State. Home to more than 9,000 farms covering over 715,000 acres of farmland, agritourism opportunities can be found in every corner of the state. Whether shopping for an array of Jersey Fresh products or simply enjoying the scenic appeal that defines New Jersey’s countryside, there’s no shortage of highlights for outdoor enthusiasts of any age or interest.
New Jersey’s strength is in its diversity of tourism offerings. To learn more about New Jersey’s great tourism attractions, visit us at VisitNJ.org to order your very own free travel guide. I also encourage you to sign up for our monthly electronic newsletter.Related Articles: