Gloucester County Ranked 1st in Tourism Growth Visitors spent $511 Million on Recreation here in 2010
(Woodbury, NJ) - An Economic Impact Study recently released by the New Jersey Department of Tourism shows that Gloucester County had the largest tourism growth in the state in 2010. The growth rate of 6.63% topped the 20 other counties and according to the study the tourism outlook for 2011 in Gloucester County continues to look strong.
"People don't automatically think 'tourism' when they think about Gloucester County, but the fact is we have been connecting our economic development initiatives with tourism efforts to strengthen our local economy for several years," stated Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger.
"We have robust agritourism and equine industries, historic sites, wineries, arts and entertainment, and hubs for dining and shopping." Director Damminger said that the local wineries, golf courses, the annual Water Fest, 4-H fair and NJ Peach Festival, the DREAM Park, 18th Century Field Day and U-pick farms were some of attractions that Gloucester County helps promote to bring visitors to the region and spend their money.
"Tourism creates jobs and adds an influx of dollars into the local economy. When people come from out of the state to visit the DREAM Park for a horse show they fill up their tanks in our gas stations, stay in hotels and eat a local restaurants."
According to the study, if Tourism did not exist, each New Jersey household would have to pay $1,367 more in taxes to maintain the current level of services
Freeholder Heather Simmons, Liaison to the Department of Economic Development, said that between 2008 and 2010 Gloucester tourism expenditures increased in Gloucester County by $90.5 million; a 17.8% increase over the last 2 years making the county first in the state for Tourism Growth from 2008-2010.
Simmons said that Gloucester County would soon have a new Gloucester County Travel Guide that would be available by the end of the month that will highlight the region's hotels and accommodations, historic sites, wineries, arts and entertainment, leisure and recreation, and equine and agritourism.
"People are choosing how to stretch their entertainment and recreational dollars in this economy and Gloucester County has focused on promoting 'staycation' style events and activities. We have been a partner is projects like Swedesboro's Jazz Fest and we are home to award-winning wineries, 69 agricultural farms, 35 horse farms, and a rich history that comes alive several times a year in places like Red Bank Battlefield Park," said Freeholder Simmons.
Simmons said that a mixture of events, like the county's free summer concerts and Water Fest that attract thousands of people, a self-guided downloadable podcast tour that tells the stories of historic Gloucester County sites receives 800 hits a week are only some of the reasons why people visit the area. Home to five wineries that include Heritage Winery of Richwood, which has won numerous awards including the Governor's Cup and a the prestigious Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, makes Gloucester County a unique destination that people learn about and learn to love.
"We are number one in tourism growth we plan on continuing to attract visitors by working with our local merchants, associations and communities," said Simmons.
Economic Impact Study - www.visitnj.org
Podcast - www.revolutionaryideatour.com to download the series of five, full-length pod casts
From Our Farms-http://www.gcfofguide.com/
Gloucester County Travel Guide attached as PDF (not available online yet)