At the New Jersey Governor's Conference on Tourism, Bill Siegel, president of Longwoods International, a Canadian firm that conducts research for the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism, mentioned that this was his ninth New Jersey tourism conference and noted that positive changes had taken place in the public's (and the trade's) perception of the Garden State. "At my first conference, I had to beat you up a little bit," Siegel told the audience. "Your image was halfway between Jack the Ripper and the Exxon Valdez."

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