NEW JERSEY – The existence of Central Jersey has long been debated across the state. Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Roy Freiman (D-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon) would affirm “Central Jersey” does exist and officially recognize it as one of three state tourism regions.
The bill (A-5098) would establish and promote northern, central and southern tourism regions in New Jersey to help with destination marketing efforts.
The Northern Tourism Region shall be comprised of Sussex, Warren, Morris, Passaic, Bergen, Essex, and Hudson Counties. The Central Tourism Region shall be comprised of Hunterdon, Somerset, Union, Middlesex, Mercer, Monmouth, and Ocean Counties. The Southern Tourism Region shall be comprised of Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Atlantic, Salem, Cumberland, and Cape May Counties.
The Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts and Assembly Agriculture and Food Security Committees—under the leadership of Chairmen Ralph Caputo and Roy Freiman—advanced the measure last Thursday.
This is part of a larger effort by Assemblyman Freiman to promote New Jersey’s travel and tourism industry. A four-bill legislative package was favorably released from Thursday’s joint meeting.
Additional measures in the package include legislation to create a tourism attraction trail sign program to encourage more people to visit New Jersey’s attractions (A-5097); to require an annual report on New Jersey’s travel and tourism industry and its impact on the economy (A-5100); and to establish the “Agritourism Fund” to create grants for businesses involved in agritourism (A-5209).
“From the iconic Jersey shoreline to our bustling, vibrant cities in the north and south, New Jersey is rich in historic and famed tourist attractions. For too long the heart of our state—home to our State capital, historic sites, and bucolic scenery—Central Jersey has not received the real attention it deserves,” Freiman said.
“Travel and tourism is a vital industry and an economic engine for the state generating thousands of jobs and attracting countless tourists each year. Redefining New Jersey’s tourism regions, looking at the way we fund tourism efforts, and delving into agritourism will help us highlight both our world-famous attractions and hidden gems. These bills can lead to attracting more visitors, boosting local economies, and truly celebrating each and every corner of our state,” Freiman said.
The bills now head to the Speaker for further consideration.