More than 100 million visitors came to the Garden State last year. A nice plump 101 million, in fact. And they spent just a tad less than $43 billion while they were at it. Most visitors (90 percent) came for leisure, with overnight visitors making up most of the numbers (90 percent), according to a report on the economic impact of tourism in New Jersey last year. Moreover, domestic visitors were the mainstay. In fact, international visitors contributed a negligible 6 percent of all visitor spending, a fact the report attributes to their being put off by higher exchange rates.
So, where did our visitors spend their money? Well, quite a lot of it in casinos, it seems; it was the first year since 2006 there was a year-over-year increase in gambling revenues at brick-and-mortar casinos. The visitors spent $11.8 billion on lodging, $10.8 billion on food and beverage, $7.8 billion on retail, $7.2 billion on transportation, and $5.2 billion on recreation.