• 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.”

Remote working has become mainstream with the continued presence of COVID-19. While many people have welcomed the new normal of working from home, others miss the separation of spaces, as many corporate offices have remained closed since March. Without the daily obligation to go into the office, professionals have the ability to travel more freely. Hotels across the country are creating “work from hotel” deals–a play on “work from home”–so people can explore new places while still fitting in their 9 to 5.  

 

After almost 20 years of vacancy, the Cook County Hospital in Chicago will be put to use once again. A $150 million adaptive reuse project restored the historic, 106-year-old hospital, which has become a combined Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotel, as well as medical offices, a museum, a food hall and more. While the opening is multi-phased, the hotels are scheduled to open in late July.  

 

Jumpstarting tourism in cities across the country will be more complicated than simply opening doors again – especially in cities with large populations like Chicago. However, working together proves more effective, and in Chicago, more than 250 businesses are banding together to join Choose Chicago’s new initiative, Tourism & Hospitality Forward. It bolsters a safe reopening that encourages tourism as well as meetings and events in