April 2, 2014

Tourism Spending Increases For Fourth Year in a Row

Tourism expenditures in Mercer County were $1.154 billion in 2013, an almost four percent increase from 2012 and an all-time high, according to “The Economic Impact of Tourism in New Jersey,” report released March 20 at the New Jersey Conference on Tourism. 

State and local tourism-related tax receipts for Mercer County increased by more than four percent to $151.8 million, or 3.3 percent of the state wide figure in 2013. This is a 4.2 increase from 2012’s $145.6 million. Tourism employment in Mercer County grew by nearly 3 percent to 11,585 positions, or 5.2 percent of the county’s employment during 2013. The total employment impact was 21,801, or 9.8 percent of the county’s employment in 2013, an increase from 20,638 or 9.4 percent of the county’s employment in 2012.

The Princeton Region welcomes more than 2 million visitors annually and includes the municipalities of Cranbury, East Windsor, Ewing, Hamilton, Hightstown, Borough of Hopewell, Hopewell Township, Village of Kingston (part of Franklin Township), Lawrence, Montgomery, Pennington, Plainsboro, Princeton, Robbinsville, Rocky Hill, South Brunswick, Trenton and West Windsor.

Statewide, visitor spending posted a 1.3 percent increase in 2013, according to the report by Tourism Economics. In 2013, total tourism demand in the State of New Jersey surpassed $40 billion. The tourism industry directly supports 320,238 jobs in New Jersey and sustains more than 511,750 jobs including indirect and induced impacts. These jobs represent 9.9 percent of total employment or 1-in-10 jobs in New Jersey.

According to the study, in the absence of the state and local taxes generated by tourism, each New Jersey household would need to pay $1,440 to maintain current governmental revenues.

“The Princeton Region is an international destination with many visitors from across the globe coming to enjoy our rich education, arts, and history assets. As the official destination marketing organization for the Princeton Region we actively pursue foreign and domestic travelers through advertisement and trade show activities,” said Adam Perle, vice president of Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and second vice president, New Jersey Travel Industry