NJ could be a hotter destination for vacations this summer
Surveys indicate that vacations will make somewhat of a comeback in summer 2021, thanks in part to progress with COVID-19 vaccination, but chances are these vacations won't be as exotic or distant as they were pre-pandemic.
New Jersey will likely be on the receiving end of plenty of this business, since folks appear more interested in keeping their trips closer to home than usual, or traveling by automobile rather than airplane.
"We are definitely hearing from realtors, from hotels, that reservations are strong. Campgrounds are doing well," said Diane Wieland, director of tourism for Cape May County. "We have a good vibe that 2021 will not be exactly what 2019 was, but we're going to be close."
Tourism revenue in the county fell 23% in 2020 compared to 2019, Wieland said. That's good news, considering the fact that business was down 99% in April 2020. September and October of last year delivered record numbers for the county, Wieland said.
"Mother's Day weekend will be another benchmark that we will use to measure growth, or the difference between 2020 and 2021," she said.
Real estate agents in late March told New Jersey 101.5 that demand for shore-home rentals has been off the charts for the upcoming summer. In some spots, weeks in July and August are completely booked.
"Pretty much people are staying closer to home," said Tammy Mann, a travel agent in Monmouth County. "I guess they're still nervous ... so a lot of people are booking for 2022."
Mann said most of her booking activity right now centers around next year. Folks traveling beyond New Jersey's borders in 2021 are likely to stay on the East Coast.
"Most of the summer bookings are Disney/Universal," she said.
A Destination Analysts survey in early April recorded a survey-high 69.3% of travelers indicating they're "ready to travel."