As arts organizations, it's important to stay connected to our New Jersey tourism partners. After all, we share the same dedicated revenue source (NJ Hotel/Motel Occupancy Fee) and we know that cultural tourism is critical to our state’s tourism industry. The NJ Travel Industry Association's Conference on Tourism is a great opportunity to network with colleagues in the tourism industry and represent the arts field with your peers. The conference, which takes place on March 3-4, will feature the 2016 JerseyArts.com People’s Choice Awards ceremony, where we'll announce and honors this year's winners and honorable mentions. The presentation will be followed by a panel that explores how arts and history organizations can be involved and promote activity in New Jersey’s National Parks. The National Park Service is celebrating its 100th Centennial and Tanya Ortega of the National Parks Arts Foundation and Robin Gold of the Hamilton Partnership for Paterson will offer expert advice on how to be part of the celebration this year and beyond. We hope to see you at the conference! ArtPride's President & CEO, Adam Perle, will host a special reception for the arts sector in his hotel suite on Thursday night. Please see a member of the ArtPride team for final details. Some facts to remember before the conference:
- Funding for the arts, history and tourism is provided by the Hotel/Motel Occupancy Fee and all three sectors have launched a cooperative campaign to restore that funding.
- State and municipal bed tax receipts grew 3.7% in 2013. (Source: 2013 Tourism Economic Impact Study)
- Visitor spending in New Jersey rose 1.3% in 2013, and grew the most in the area of recreation & entertainment. (Source: 2013 Tourism Economic Impact Study)
- Domestic visitor markets comprise the majority (87.4%) of tourism sales in New Jersey. (Source: 2013 Tourism Economic Impact Study)
- The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that the percentage of international travelers including “art gallery and museum visits” on their trip has grown since 2003 (from 17 to 28 percent), while the share attending “concerts, plays, and musicals” increased from 13 to 18 percent since 2003. (Source: AFTA 2014 National Arts Index)
- Leisure travelers who participate in cultural/heritage activities make up 76% of the domestic leisure travelers. (Source: The Cultural and Heritage Traveler 2013)
- Arts attendees who live outside the county in which the arts event takes place spend more than twice as much as their local counterparts ($39.96 vs. $17.42), demonstrating that a community that attracts cultural tourists stands to harness significant economic rewards. (Source: AFTA Arts Facts . . . Spending by Arts Audiences)