The state’s tourism industry and officials are eyeing 150 million tourists visiting New Jersey annually by 2023—a goal certainly within reason, according to Gov. Phil Murphy.
“We all know we have one of the nation’s greatest national jewels—our glorious shore,” Murphy said Thursday morning at the New Jersey Tourism Industry Association’s breakfast in Trenton.
New Jersey saw over 100 million visitors for the first time starting in 2017, who spent $42.9 billion and generated $4.8 billion in state and local taxes, according to a January 2018 study “Economic Impact of Tourism in New Jersey, 2017.”
“Visitor spending supported 333,860 jobs in New Jersey. When combined with indirect and induced jobs, tourism sustained more than 531,000 jobs, making tourism the seventh largest employer in New Jersey,” reads a statement from governor’s office.
New Jersey’s tourism, Murphy adds, goes beyond its iconic shore and ranges from the “tree-lined hills at High Point, and the dense forests of the Pine Barrens,” to “fishing for bass and trout in the Delaware River” or shopping and dining in historic downtowns.
“It’s catching a concert at the Stone Pony, or a play at the State Theater, Paper Mill Playhouse, or any other in our rich collection of regional theaters. It’s an art gallery opening in Lambertville,” he added.
“It’s cheering on the Devils at the Prudential Center, taking in a Trenton Thunder or Lakewood Blue Claws game, or watching the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers,” the Governor said.
Murphy also cited his proposed “Historic Preservation Tax credit;” $20 million set aside each year to help absorb the costs to developers to renovate underutilized or abandoned historic properties, turning them into housing or businesses.