New Jersey has 1,634 heritage-tourism sites, which generated $2.8 billion in visitor spending in 2012, according to a report by Tourism Economics, an international consulting firm based in Philadelphia.
Direct visitor spending accounted for about $1.3 billion. There were roughly 11 million visits to the sites that year, 46 percent of which were from people outside of the municipality.
The sites are spread throughout New Jersey, with about 38 percent of them owned by state government, 22 percent by county government, and 16 percent by nonprofits. The federal government owns and operates 6 percent of the sites, with cities running about 4 percent.
Essex County had the largest number of visitors, with more than 1 million, or 9.7 percent. Essex was followed closely by Bergen, with 9 percent of visitors; Cape May, with 9.7 percent; Morris, with 8.6 percent; and Mercer, with 8.3 percent. The counties with the lowest number of visitors were Warren (1.3 percent), Sussex (1.4 percent), Salem (1.7 percent), and Passaic (2.2 percent).