NJ Tourism Spending Sets Record in 2013
According to figures released Thursday by the Christie administration, New Jersey's tourism industry set a new record for 2013, generating $40.4 billion in spending, a 1.3 percent increase over 2012.
Despite some tourist attractions still dealing with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey saw a 5.9 percent increase in the number of people visiting the state in 2013 over 2012. In total, New Jersey had 87.2 million visitors in 2013.
"Today's numbers reaffirm the incredible resilience shown by New Jersey's tourism industry and the commitment of our visitors, who continue to demonstrate their support by vacationing at our great tourist destinations after Sandy," said Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno in a news release Thursday.
The numbers for 2013 contradict statements made last month by Michele Brown, the state economic development chief, at hearings on Sandy relief aid. Brown said 2013's tourism numbers were slightly below the 2012 figure.
Guadagno was asked Thursday at the state's annual tourism conference in Atlantic City why the numbers had changed between then and now, but didn't have an answer.
The tourism industry has also been a leader in job growth creation. In 2013, the industry was responsible for 320,238 jobs in the state, a small increase over 2012.
Overall tourism was responsible for 7 percent of the entire state economy in 2013.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)