Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitor Bureau is among more than a dozen destination marketing organizations statewide awarded grants totaling more than $1.3 million to expand tourism marketing opportunities in New Jersey, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno announced Monday.
The Princeton-area chamber will receive $123,000.
“Tourism is one of New Jersey’s largest and most popular industries, generating $38 billion in economic activity and 312,000 jobs,” Guadagno said in a release. “These grants are an important and proven ingredient to successfully promote the unique historical, cultural, and natural attractions that exist in every corner of our state.”
Each organization will use the grant in different ways.
The PRCC will focus on search engine optimization and marketing, as well as marketing to various travel segments, said PRCC Vice President Adam Perle.
Potential travelers to the Princeton region include leisure travelers, commuters, foreign travelers visiting New York City seeking day trips, corporations, bus tours and youth travelers. The chamber also actively works to bring various sporting events to the area, as well as conferences and other events, Perle said.
Some money from this year’s award will also go research a tourism visitor profile, he said.
“It’s definitely been working.” Perle said, noting that overall local tourism expenditures topped $1 billion in 2011, a 10 percent increase over the prior year.
This is the sixth year the chamber has received this grant. The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce represents all Mercer County municipalities, plus Cranbury, Village of Kingston, Montgomery, Plainsboro and Rocky Hill.
"Frankly, each time that we’ve applied, we’ve gotten a larger percentage of the grant funds that are available," Perle said. "The Department of Travel and Tourism is seeing that what we’re doing is working."
Grants were also awarded to the following organizations:
- Meadowlands Liberty Convention and Visitors Bureau: $150,000
- Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority: $74,835
- Southern Shore Regional Tourism: $141,000
- Southern Ocean County Chamber: $141,000
- Morris County Tourism Bureau: $141,000
- Jersey City Economic Development Corporation: $114,000
- Shore Region Tourism Council: $111,000
- South Jersey Tourism Corp.: $36,072
- Somerset County Business Partnership: $108,000
- Sussex County Chamber of Commerce: $102,000
- Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, $3,551
- Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce: $33,000
- Central New Jersey Convention & Visitors Bureau Middlesex County Regional Chamber: $36,000