For Lauren Craig, the success of the New Jersey tourism industry is personal. Craig is glambassador of the City of Newark and marketing manager at Newark Arts. “I shine a light on all of the glamorous happenings in Newark and see myself as representative of the best and the brightest that Newark has to offer,” she said. She wrote the travel and tourism guide 100 Things to Do in Newark Before You Die, and in her role of marketing manager, she shares the work of Newark Arts and promotes art events.
“I have taken on the challenge of changing the perception of Newark from a city that is equated with poverty and crime to one that is known to foster art, beauty, culture, industry, architecture, higher education, and so much more,” Craig said. In her work, she focuses on the exciting people, places, and things that are uniquely Newark.
As the tourism industry evolves, the perception of New Jersey evolves. Because of Craig’s work, including helping to produce the Open Doors Citywide Arts Festival, the City of Newark is receiving the attention it deserves. The arts and culture industries are major economic anchors attracting visitors to the area, and Newark has become a tourist destination with billions of dollars of development in the pipeline. If budgets for the tourism industry were cut, Craig would likely see the work of her and many others in Newark go to waste.
Craig is one of the 517,559 New Jersey residents working in the tourism industry whose job could be in jeopardy if the proposed budget cuts are passed. The New Jersey Destination Marketing Organization (NJDMO) and New Jersey Tourism Industry Association (NJTIA) are working together ensure this does not happen, influence elected officials, underscore the industry’s role in ensuring economic prosperity, and highlight the stories of people like Craig.
To make this a possibility and save funding for the industry, NJDMO and NJTIA need your help. To learn what you can do to lend your support for New Jersey tourism, visit the #TourismAndYou toolkit.