• Ocean County Tourism Still Going Strong

     
    POSTED October 8, 2015
     

Ocean County’s tourism industry in New Jersey continues to get bigger and bigger. And, according to Joseph H. Vicari, freeholder and chairman, Department of Business Development and Tourism, there’s nowhere to go but up.

 “Tourism is a $4.3 billion industry in Ocean County, but by the end of this year I’m predicting it will be at $4.4 billion,” he says. “Every dollar that tourism brings into the county circulates seven times, providing jobs, paying taxes and strengthening our local economy.”

Reports show this past summer was strong, with visitors prominently visiting the beaches and business Ocean County has to offer.

 “Our number one draw is still our 44 miles of coastline and beaches,” says Vicari. “But people also come for the museums, the farmlands, Six Flags and the Lakewood Blue Claws.”

Those visitors are a boom for local businesses, the vast majority of which are small Mom and Pop stores, restaurants and other establishments. Vicari, who serves as Chairman of the Department of Business Development and Tourism, said he’s worked closely with local businesses, and chambers of commerce to entice more visitors to the county.

But the success doesn’t stop with the coming of fall.

“Our season lasts all year,” says Vicari. “There is always something to do in Ocean County. The fall brings with it such popular events as Chowderfest in Beach Haven, the Decoy and Gunning Show in Tuckerton, pumpkin picking in Plumsted and the Seaside Heights Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival.”

October is the month of fall color viewing, pumpkin picking, and pizza. Yes, October is National Pizza Month, and if you’re looking to commemorate the occasion, head to New Jersey.

Others may disagree—let’s make that, others will certainly disagree—but last year Food & Wine Magazine named New Jersey the best pizza state in America, followed by Connecticut and New York in the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively. Pennsylvania landed in seventh place and Massachusetts nabbed 10th place. 

 

Atlantic City

Last year was the highest grossing ever for the United States commercial gaming industry.* Meeting planners who hold gatherings at casinos may just feel like they’ve hit the jackpot, too. Casino-based events provide one-stop convenience—the amenities of convention centers and bountiful hotel rooms, plus activities, dining, and nightlife. 

 

Doreen Guerin grew up an Air Force brat, living in Texas, Louisiana, and later England and France. When she was 13, her parents moved to Queens and, Guerin says, “I’m a New Yorker through and through.” That’s apparent from her accent as well as her dedication to the Javits Center, where, as the senior vice president of sales and marketing, she oversees the booking and event-related operations for more than 170 events each year. 

M+E: What fueled your interest in working in the conventions industry?