SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) and Somerset County Tourism released the latest Tourism Update in a presentation to the Board of Chosen Freeholders at a recent meeting, with figures showing that visitors spent $1.2 billion in 2017.
Continuing the growth trend of tourism visits to Somerset County, the 2017 figures showed that visitor spending supportedg 20,000 jobs, generating $73.1 million in state taxes & revenue and $71.4 million in local taxes and revenue.
These figures showed growth at a rate of 3.4% since the 2016 Tourism Economics report.
The largest portion of visitor spending, 31%, was in the area of food and beverage, $367M, with 21%, $252M, spent on retail sales and 20%. $229M on lodging.
The balance of the spending was distributed to recreation, (17%., $197, and local transportation (11%, $134M.
The report showed that 70% of the travelers coming to Somerset County were on business-related trips.
In response to these indicators, tourism staff will continue to work with Somerset County employers to develop more creative methods to extend the stay of business visitors.
In order to maintain momentum and continue the growth of tourism in Somerset County, Mike Kerwin, President/CEO of the SCBP, outlined four strategies including use of the new County brand, Making Vibrant Connections, economic development, niche marketing, and collaborating with community partners.
Examples of this effort are the recent Higher Education Workshop bringing the State’s premier educational institutions to Somerset County to meet with the business community, a partnership with Sanofi and the SCBP with a focus on acquiring and retaining talent, and an ongoing cooperative initiative with the SCBP and the Somerset County Park Commission to promote recreation opportunities for residents and visitors.
Somerset County Tourism’s marketing campaign is designed to offer extended stay opportunities is reinforcing the Tourism effort with print and digital advertising supporting equestrian opportunities, county and private gardens, championship golf, and birding.
“Tourism is a growth sector in Somerset County that financially benefits business and residents alike,” said Jackie Morales, director of Tourism for Somerset County. “Making Vibrant Connections is key to creating attractions for business visitors and tourists alike.”
Somerset County Tourism is the official Destination Marketing Organization for Somerset County and a Division of the Somerset County Business Partnership. The organization’s mission is to advance the local economy by promoting the area’s outstanding travel products and experiences and to offer a variety of useful services to residents, business and leisure travelers.