LAFAYETTE TOWNSHIP, NJ (Sussex County) – U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer, business owners, chambers of commerce, state and local elected officials, and tourism leaders came together on Wednesday for a Tourism Task Force roundtable to discuss how best to boost the tourism economy of both Sussex and Warren Counties.
Gottheimer and stakeholders discussed improvements in local transportation, clawing back tourism investment – like Save America’s Treasure Grants, coordinating regional advertising, and natural attractions – like the Delaware Water Gap.
The meeting was held in a brand new Shoppes at Lafayette building and included Senator Oroho, Assemblyman Space, Assemblyman Wirths, Sussex Chamber Commerce President Tammie Horsfield, Shoppes at Lafayette Manager Patti Singer, Vernon Mayor Harry Shortway, Andover Township Mayor Dolores Blackburn and other stakeholders throughout Sussex and Warren Counties.
“All of us are here because we believe Northern New Jersey has incredibly strong potential as a year-round destination for tourism in the state,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “And we all realize the need to continue focusing on finding the right sources to highlight this region’s assets and help the burgeoning tourism industry flourish in Northwest Jersey.”
“I’m always incredibly honored to be able to represent such a beautiful area of the state, and of the entire country. I’m very much looking forward to continuing the work of our Tourism Task Force and to furthering the conversation with all these local leaders. We have to ensure our communities and businesses and attractions are working together – and that I’m working together with everyone. I know tourism can become an even greater driving economic forces for us,” Gottheimer said.
Domestic and international travelers to New Jersey spent $21.8 billion in 2016 and generated $3.9 billion to federal, state, and local governments which help fund many public programs. In the 5th district alone, travelers spent $1.6 billion.
This spending supported 219,690 jobs in New Jersey, representing 6.5% of the state’s total private industry employment. Without these jobs, New Jersey’s unemployment rate of 5% would have been 9.8%. For every million dollars spent on tourism in New Jersey, ten new jobs are created.
The State of New Jersey spends about $9 million every year on tourism promotion. According to the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce, for every dollar spent on tourism in New Jersey, the economy makes back twenty more.