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Tourism Continues to Grow in Ocean County, Data Shows

The Seaside Heights beachfront. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

The Seaside Heights beachfront. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Ocean County officials say the county’s tourism industry is continuing to grow, injecting $4.76 billion into the state and local areas’ economies.

The county saw its tourism revenue grow 1.8 percent in 2017, according to data collected by the state Division of Travel and Tourism and provided to the county. Ocean County accounted for just over 10 percent of all tourism dollars generated in the state, the report said.

According to the data, on average, spending from 310 travelers supports one New Jersey job and, one out of every 14.5 workers in New Jersey is supported by tourism. In addition, $1,515 in tax revenue per household in New Jersey was supported by tourism in 2017.

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“Tourism is an economic engine in Ocean County,” Freeholder Joseph Vicari said. “Its success is a collaborative effort of marketing strategies, working with the state, working with Chambers of Commerce all getting the word out on all the great things that make Ocean County a great vacation spot.”

New Jersey’s tourism sector generated $38.7 billion of state gross domestic product in 2017, representing 6.7 percent of the entire state economy. The tourism industry statewide accounted for $45.4 billion in economic impact – an increase of more than 2.9 percent over the previous year.

In Ocean County, lodging brought in $1.47 billion, food and beverage sales totaled $1.16 billion and almost $1 billion in retail sales.

In recent years, the county has begun marketing its beaches, watersports and inland pine barrens strategically. One of the primary focus points has been Canada, where the county has geared its marketing toward tourists who historically have traveled to other locations along the east coast of the United States, including Cape May County.

“We are happy that tourism is stronger than ever,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, whose hometown of Surf City has long been a magnet for summer visitors. “This is a true testimony to the business communities and owners of hotels and rental properties in working to keep Ocean County the premier destination spot it has always been.”

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