You may ask, "Why should we, as an arts organization, attend the NJ Travel Industry Association's Conference on Tourism?" Some things to consider:
- 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)
And if that STILL isn't enough to convince you that the arts are inherently linked to New Jersey tourism, then remember that you and your organization might just win a JerseyArts.com Peoples Choice Award! Voting is officially closed, and the winners will be honored at the NJTIA Tourism Conference on Friday March 13. Following the awards breakfast, Americans for the Arts Vice President of Research and Policy Randy Cohen will be speaking in more detail about current research and the impacts of cultural tourism.
If you are still unable to attend, please consider contacting Laura Slomka to donate something wonderful to the cause. Every performance ticket, admission pass, and once-in-a-lifetime experience serves as a reminder that the arts and tourism work best when they work together!