SHIP BOTTOM, NJ - All predictions for a robust summer season are in place, and May is the time to for Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce to talk about the new businesses, attractions and exciting festivals.

Earlier this spring, through the direct efforts of the 103 year chamber and accredited destination Marketing organization, Long Beach Island was chosen one of the top ten beach communities in the United States through Family Vacation Critic, a subsidiary of Trip Advisor.

Speaking engagements have been scheduled to further promote this distinction, as well as partnering with statewide officials to advance New Jersey tourism overall.

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To kick off tourism week, Lori A. Pepenella, CEO of Southern Ocean County Chamber returns as a panelist of the much acclaimed Annual Jersey Shorecast presented by Stockton University at the Carnegie Center in Atlantic City on Thursday May 11.

Focusing on question regarding initiatives, overall tourism growth and visitor engagement, Pepenella will be featured along with Cape May County Tourism, Greater Atlantic City Chamber and university experts.

On May 22, the chamber will join the New Jersey Tourism Industry Association in Trenton at their press conference in the statehouse to discuss the importance of tourism funding, announce key summer events and meet with legislators.

Leading up to Memorial Day Weekend, the Southern Ocean County Chamber has partnered with the Monmouth Ocean Development Council for a joint Kick off to Summer Press Conference at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday May 24 on the Asbury Park Boardwalk.

Key speakers will include Jake Buganski, Acting Executive Director of NJ Division of Travel and Tourism, Ocean County Freeholder Joseph Vicari and Monmouth County Freehold Arnone.

Immediately following the press conference, the organizations will host a reception to provide guests a unique opportunity to mingle with fellow tourism advocates at Tim McLoone's Supper Club at 1200 Ocean Avenue in Asbury Park.

Tickets for reception are $29 each and may be purchased through MODC by contacting them at  

For more information about the Southern Ocean Chamber and their destination marketing efforts go to or follow on social media @LBIregion.