TRENTON -- Tourism, New Jersey's No. 2 industry, should continue to
do well the rest of the year, with spending projected to increase
over 1998, according to acting tourism director Donna Bakelaar.
"It looks very good. Our business has been on the incline every
year and it looks that way this year, too," she said.
Tourism, trailing only pharmaceuticals as a source of state
income, generated $27 billion in 1997 and $28.1 billion last year,
The primary tourist target is state residents, but New York and
Philadelphia are also important markets, she said.
Some visitors are choosing New Jersey over New York for two
reasons, she added. "One is that they can't afford the $300 to
$400-[per]-night hotels. The second reason is security. They feel
more secure here," she said.
Canadians are an important market for the state. Recently,
30-second radio spots have aired in regions of eastern Canada and
areas bordering the northeastern U.S. More than 200,000 Canadians
visit the state each year, spending more than $54.5 million,
Bakelaar said. "New Jersey is easily accessible, and affordable,
for Canadians looking for a beach vacation, whether they're coming
by car or plane," Bakelaar said.
She said New Jersey is also benefiting from the trend of U.S.
residents who normally go to Europe looking for vacations closer to
home because of perceived turmoil. "We're finding those people are
looking for alternate destinations and, of course, we have 127
miles of shoreline. We have wonderful scenery, a lot of bed and
breakfasts and good entertainment. And we have a lot of events
year-round," she said.
The state has no taxes on clothing and shoes, she said, which
has helped spur the growth of factory outlet centers.
There are 1 million people living in New Jersey age 60 and over,
and that is another target market, Bakelaar said. Following is a
sampling of new developments:Six Flags Great Adventure & Wild Safari in Jackson had a
$42 million expansion that included 25 new rides. Park officials
said the increase should greatly reduce lines.Keansburg Amusement Park has a new multimillion-dollar Runaway
Rapids Waterpark. Its makeover also includes an 18-hole golf
course, a Ferris wheel and two new thrill rides, Chaos and
Tornado.A train operated by Cape May Seashore Lines, which runs through
the restored 19th century town of Cold Spring Village to the Cape
May County Park and Zoo, has been extended into Cape May. Visitors
can park at Cold Spring Village and leave their cars behind to
visit Cape May.In Atlantic City, the Absecon Lighthouse, built in 1847, was
renovated and is open to the public, and a new $4 million Ocean
Life center opened with displays of marine life at Historic
The New Jersey Commerce & Economic Growth Commission
Phone: (800) VISITNJ