The Jersey Shore has recovered economically from the shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and is expecting a busy 2022 summer.
That’s the main message that came out of yesterday’s 14th annual Jersey Shorecast sponsored by the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism (LIGHT), Stockton University School of Business.
The seminar was held at the Stockton University Atlantic City John F. Scarpa Academic Center.
“I think the summer of 2022 is going to be another robust and strong shore season,” said Oliver Cooke, associate professor of economics at Stockton University and editor of the South Jersey Economic Review. “It may not be as robust as last summer, but I hope I’m wrong. There was so much pent-up savings and pent-up demand (last year). … I wouldn’t be surprised if we were close to what we were last summer.”
At the start of the seminar, LIGHT Faculty Director Jane Bokunewicz presented some new data from visitnj.org that showed 2021 was a very good year economically for the Jersey Shore as visitors, spending and the number of jobs in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Monmouth and Ocean counties rose dramatically from 2020.
Visitors to those counties reached 45.2 million (a 16% increase), spending hit $20.8 billion (a 28.9% increase) and 122.9 million workers were directly employed (a 22.9% increase).
However, while those numbers are positive trends, they are all below 2019 numbers, before the pandemic.
Nevertheless, each member of the panel was very optimistic for the positive trends to continue in 2022.
“We are really bullish on this summer season,” Ziereis said.
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