Tourism Officials Say Jersey Shore Is Open For Business [AUDIO]
There are tight marketing budgets in the aftermath of Sandy, but some tourism officials in Monmouth and Ocean counties plan to use their website to tell potential visitors that the Jersey Shore is open for business.
"Almost 100 percent of the 87 towns in Monmouth and Ocean counties were affected in some way by Sandy," said Bob Hilton, Executive Director of the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau. "But, for the most part, if you look at the overall picture, most of the downtowns are up and running, with the exception of about five or six major spots like Seaside, Sea Bright and sections of Point Pleasant. Restaurants are open, the shops are open and hotels are open."
"We have an obligation to let people know we are open for business and some of the pictures that people are seeing on television don't truly represent a clear picture of what's going on," said Hilton. "While the areas closest to the shore line had most of the damage, if you go just a couple of blocks inland, most businesses are up and running. We want to let people know that. Things may look a little different as we head into the winter and spring, but more than 80 percent of businesses are open."
The Bureau is working on partnering with national and statewide organizations in hopes of getting the message out and is working to expand its existing website to allow people to search for open businesses by municipality.
"We want people to be able to go to our website and search town by town to see exactly what is open and what isn't," said Hilton. "We have a couple of towns up at this point and are working get each town on the website. We have asked every business in Monmouth and Ocean county to go out in front of their business with an open sign and take a picture of them and their employees or their employees with a picture of their business. We are going to make up videos with the pictures to show people across the country that we're open for business."
"We are looking for the public's help and for participation from local businesses to get the pictures and videos to us. We also need them to let us know they are open for business," said Hilton.
To provide information, call the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau at 732-244-9283 and leave a message for Bob Hilton with the business name, address, phone number and website or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.