Tourist visits to New Jersey reached a record-breaking (almost) 111 million in 2018. Gov. Phil Murphy, along with Secretary of State Tahesha Way, yesterday trumpeted that nice round number and the fact that it represented a 7.4 percent increase over 2017. (To be precise, the actual number of visitors was 110.8 million.)
Visitor spending supported 333,860 jobs here, according to a report just released by the Department of State’s Division of Travel and Tourism. When indirect and so-called induced jobs are factored in, the report said that tourism sustained more than 531,000 jobs, making the industry the seventh-largest employer in the Garden State. In fact, nearly 10 percent of New Jersey’s jobs are supported by tourism. (The report defines indirect jobs as those created by the purchase of goods and services, and induced jobs as those created when wages generated either directly or indirectly by tourism are spent in the local economy.)
Can we top the 111 million? Apparently, state officials mean to; they’re looking to draw 150 million visitors here by 2023. Let’s hope they all won’t be driving on the turnpike or the parkway at rush hour.