Lt. Gov. Guadagno Wants Same Tourism Dollars For NJ [AUDIO]
Everyone seems to agree we need to spend extra money to promote the Jersey Shore this spring and summer because a lot of people in other states may be under the impression that Superstorm Sandy destroyed the entire Jersey coastline. But, so far, no additional funds have been allocated or spent to accomplish that objective.
Lut. Governor Kim Guadagno says the feds gave other states money to promote tourism after hurricane Katrina, so they should do the same for Jersey.
"Certainly we're not going to pass up an opportunity to request funding through the relief package that was passed. I do know that Mississippi and Louisiana were able to get some marketing dollars - we're going to fight for those."
She points out tourism is extremely important, so "We're going to advocate for any relief funds we're entitled to get as big a marketing campaign as possible - it's a 38 billion dollar business in New Jersey."
When asked if she supports proposed legislation in Trenton to increase tourism marketing by 20 million dollars, Guadagno said, "We should put that as part of our regular budgetary process. I don't think you can set aside 20 million dollars right now - I think it all has to come as a total package through the budget process…Let's consider how much, and if we need anymore, how much that should be through the normal budget process, which the Governor is going to speak to in just two weeks."
She points out efforts are already underway to promote Garden State tourism, through a non-profit entity called Choose New Jersey.
"We already have a 2 ½ - 3 million dollar campaign that we regularly have through the hotel, motel tax for our spring, summer marketing campaign."
Guadagno adds she heads to Canada next week "to talk to the tourism people up in Montreal. For those of you who don't know, Canadians are our number one overnight stay tourists…We need to let those people know we're open for business."