Other States Not Targeting NJ Tourists [AUDIO]
New Jersey is doing everything it can to retain visitors the year after Super Storm Sandy hit, and while many officials fear other states “poaching” tourism, several summer destination location say the onus will be on the Garden State to welcome back visitors.
Representatives from both South Carolina and North Carolina say their respective states, like many other summer tourism locations, don’t specifically target visitors of storm battered states.
Instead they conduct the same marketing campaigns as usual.
“So it’s just good business practice and good business ethics to not take advantage of our sister state’s misfortune.”
Marion Edmonds, Communications Director for the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism says his state experienced pressure to take advantage of neighboring Louisiana and Mississippi being hit by the BP Oil Spill.
Like New Jersey, South Carolina and North Carolina target residents from the Mid Atlantic, Pennsylvania and Ohio, and even Canada to come for the summer. While some officials along the shore worry if other states get regular Jersey Shore tourists they won’t return to the Garden State, Edmonds says in his experience a favorable vacation means travelers add a location to their list of favorites.
Edmond adds 30 to 40 percent of travelers return if they enjoyed a destination.
Both North and South Carolina were also in New Jersey’s shoes when it came to Hurricanes. Witt Tuttell, Director of Tourism Marketing for the state of North Carolina, notes modern technology makes calming the nerves of skittish potential visitors easier. Specifically, destinations can post pictures, which does more to bring people back than anything else.
“You can say it as much as you want, people have a tendency not to believe it unless they can see it.”
Hurricane Hugo, which hit South Carolina in 1989, was one of the worst storms in the state’s history, but Edmonds says the following summer was very positive.
“By spring people were getting enough information that things were back up and recovered and ready for business that we really didn’t see a negative impact in the following year.”