TRENTON – The New Jersey Tourism Industry Association (NJTIA) kicked off the tourism season at a press conference that highlighted the importance of the travel and tourism industries in New Jersey. The association, along with U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and U.S. Representative Frank Pallone, reiterated its opposition to leases for offshore oil exploration, a policy being pushed through Washington, D.C.
Tourism numbers are expected to be on the upswing in 2015, according to estimates based on economic indicators and gasoline prices. Already 41.9 million people across the nation are expected to be travelling at least 50 miles from home over the Independence Day weekend, up 0.7 percent from last year according to estimates from AAA.
Tourism demand grew 3.8 percent and visitation expanded 4.4 percent in 2014, according to the N.J. Division of Travel and Tourism.
NJTIA President Sharon Franz said, “New Jersey’s tourism industry generates $38 billion a year and directly supports 312,000 jobs. People travel far and wide to visit New Jersey tourist attractions, many of those attractions rely on our state’s pristine beaches.”
NJTIA leaders held a press conference recently with Menendez, Pallone, and Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty to voice opposition to the offshore drilling proposal.
“The last thing that the tourism industry in New Jersey needs is the threat of a manmade disaster from an oil spill,” said Franz, Director of Sales & Marketing at Steel Pier in Atlantic City. “In New Jersey, the consequences of an oil spill would be catastrophic. Our tourism industry, an industry that is so vital to the economy of this state, must continue to thrive and grow, and an oil spill would destroy the progress the industry has made since the setback of Superstorm Sandy.”
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