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$36.3 billion

May 26, 2015

This past weekend marked the beginning of summer in New Jersey, traditionally the high point of the tourism season in the state. Despite the decline in casino spending, leisure tourists spent $36.3 billion in 2014 (another $3.6 billion was spent by business travellers), an increase of 3.7 percent over 2013, according to Tourism Economics, a Philadelphia-based consultancy.

This year promises an even bigger bump, with more beaches and buildings refurbished since Sandy and an especially long summer. Memorial Day fell early this year, and Labor Day isn’t until September 7.

Most tourists to New Jersey are local -- 92 percent are domestic travellers. And even the majority of the 8 percent of international travellers are from Canada.

Given that, a lot depends on the weather. But forecasters are expecting a mild summer.

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