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BRIDGEWATER, NJ, June 14, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Somerset County tourism saw a significant uptick last year, according to a statewide analysis of tourism-related revenues and jobs.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced the 2018 state tourism numbers at the annual New Jersey Tourism Industry Association (NJTIA) Awards Breakfast & Advocacy Day, held at the Masonic Temple in Trenton on May 9.
The statewide figures, detailed in The Economic Impact of Tourism in New Jersey, 2018 showed an increase across several key categories: visitation, spending, employment, and tax revenue. The report was researched and compiled by Tourism Economics.
Among the New Jersey counties that saw significant tourism increases in 2018 was Somerset County, where tourism is a $1.2 billion industry. Key county-specific takeaways from the economic impact report are as follows:
• Visitors to Somerset County numbered over 3 million.
• Direct tourism industry sales were $1.2 billion, an increase of 4.8% over 2017.
• Roughly 7% of Somerset County's workforce, or 20,000+ jobs, can be attributed to tourism.
• State and local tax receipts were $171.3 million in 2018, a 2.3% increase from the previous year.
"Somerset County continues to be a major player on the tourism scene," said Freeholder Director Brian D. Levine. "This is thanks to the combined efforts of the Business Partnership, Tourism Office, and local businesses, hotels, restaurants and attractions. County government has had a hand in this success too, through programs such as Weekend Journey through the Past, which draws thousands of visitors every fall."
Statewide, tourism spending grew by 4.5% in 2018, with 111 million visitors spending $44.7 billion. Tourism expenditures also resulted in $5 billion in state and local tax revenue. New Jersey tourism accounted for 530,000 tourism jobs in 2018, up 5,000 from the prior year. At the NJTIA breakfast, Governor Murphy stated his goals for the tourism industry, which include continuing the 7% growth rate, attracting 150 million visitors by 2023, and attracting more international visitors to the state.
"The Somerset County tourism industry contributes so much to the local and statewide economy, and I am thrilled to see yet another year of record industry growth," said Jacqueline Morales, director of Somerset Tourism. "Speaking to Governor Murphy's goals, one of our priorities for the coming year is to increase our outreach to attract more international visitors to the county."
About Somerset County Tourism
Somerset County Tourism, a 501(c)3 organization, is the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for Somerset County, N.J. and a Division of the Somerset County Business Partnership. Its mission is to advance the local economy by sustainably promoting the area's outstanding travel products and experiences, and to offer a variety of useful services to residents, business travelers and leisure visitors. Somerset County Tourism is an active member of New Jersey Destination Marketing Organizations and the New Jersey Tourism Industry Association. For more information visit www.visitsomersetnj.org or call 908-218-4300, ext. 28.
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