N.J. to spend $25 million in federal aid on tourism marketing

Some of the Sandy recovery money New Jersey is receiving from the federal government will help finance a tourism marketing campaign.

State officials plan to spend $25 million of the $1.8 billion in federal community development block grants to promote businesses and Shore towns that are recovering from the storm.

The state has been spending $9 million a year on marketing statewide funded by New Jersey’s hotel and motel occupancy tax.

The extra federal funds will be a big help, said Vicki Clark, vice president of the New Jersey Travel Industry Association.

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“Most of the Shore will be open for business, and all of interior area is fine, ready for business this summer,” Clark said. “We don’t want to lose any of our customers to other states who are advertising very diligently trying to attract them to their areas.”

Clark says New Jersey is still in a state of economic recovery, and it can’t afford to lose any part of its $38 billion tourism industry.

“We’re very exited to have this opportunity to get the message out to a greater audience that New Jersey is open for business,” she said Wednesday. “This could also attract some folks that have never visited here before.”

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