Tourism On The Rebound, Survey Says

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GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP—Nobody is denying a challenging economy is still with us, but a survey conducted by The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey suggests things could be easing a bit, at least as far as tourism is concerned.

Stockton officials said vacation travelers have loosened their purse strings somewhat, while 27 percent of the respondents said they would not alter their spending as a result of the economy.

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“Our results seem to hint that recession is easing somewhat,” said Dr. Janet Wagner, Dean of Stockton’s School of Business.  The survey, conducted by Wagner, Cliff Whithem of the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program and Jason Rivera of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy, was presented recently at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Atlantic City and is available online by clicking here.

“Stockton recognizes the importance of the tourism industry to Atlantic City and all of NJ, so this annual survey is designed to provide data which is immediately useful to decision makers in tourism,” Wagner said.

This year’s study focused on what travelers think is important when planning a trip, their impressions of New Jersey as a recreational destination, and their reactions to the current economy.  This year’s survey (the fourth annual) also was designed to revisit questions from earlier surveys, so as to allow comparisons over time.

Among the results:

  • The top three things travelers say are important when planning a trip are lodging, ease of travel, and price.
  • Travelers have the most favorable impressions of NJ about ease of travel and gaming.
  • Travelers continue to be price conscious and concerned about the economy, however 57% of the respondents said they would spend as much or more on recreational travel this year as last year.
  • An increasing number of travelers (38% up from 25% in 2007) are waiting until the last minute to make their travel plans.

Stockton’s NJ Center for Hospitality and Tourism Research conducted the survey, in conjunction with Zogby International. The on-line poll of over 3,900 adults probed their interests when planning a trip and their impressions of New Jersey tourism.


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