New Jersey

Tourism, travel, and recreation

Tourism is a leading industry in New Jersey, accounting for a sizeable part of the state's revenues. In 2002, there were about 60.8 million visitors to the state, 57% of which were day-trip travelers. About 34% of all trips are made by residents within the state. Nearly 25% of all visitors are from New York and about 19% are from Pennsylvania. The Jersey shore has been a popular attraction since 1801, when Cape May began advertising itself as a summer resort. Dining, entertainment, and gambling are also popular.

Of all the shore resorts, the largest has long been Atlantic City, which by the 1890s was the nation's most popular resort city and by 1905 was the first major city with an economy almost totally dependent on tourism. That proved to be its downfall, as improvements in road and air transportation made more modern resorts in other states easily accessible to easterners. By the early 1970s, the city's only claims to fame were the Miss America pageant and the game of Monopoly, whose standard version uses its street names. In an effort to restore Atlantic City to its former luster and revive its economy, New Jersey voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1976 to allow casinos in the resort. Some 33 million people visit Atlantic City annually. Casino taxes were earmarked to reduce property taxes of senior citizens.

State attractions include ten ski areas in northwestern New Jersey (on Hamburg Mountain alone, more than 50 slopes are available), canoeing and camping at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, three national wildlife refuges, 31 public golf courses, and 30 amusement parks, including Great Adventure in central Jersey. Dutch Neck Village, created in 1976, includes a living museum and the Old Hickory Arboretum. Jersey Greens, the largest outlet mall in New Jersey, opened in 1999, anticipating revenues of $5.6 million annually.