Tourism head: NJ’s rich war history has big moneymaking potential
New Jersey: A heritage tourism destination?
Sure, we're a great stop for beaches, casinos and impeccable produce. But the new head of tourism efforts in the state says New Jersey could be missing out on even more tourism dollars.
"The opportunity that I think we have here in the state is to really leverage our history and the historic assets we have, to really separate us from the pack and be our key differentiator in terms of tourism," said Jake Buganski, acting executive director of the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism.
Buganski, who took the position in December, says New Jersey's Revolutionary War history is "second to none," and he's interested in working more closely with groups who specialize in maintaining the state's rich history.
"I think that New Jersey's history sometimes doesn't get a fair shake compared to Virginia, Pennsylvania, some of the surrounding states," he said.
According to the website Revolutionary War New Jersey, the state contains nearly 650 Revolutionary War historic sites located throughout all 21 counties.
Buganski added New Jersey's historic main streets are a great product to promote, and some craft breweries are helping revitalize some of these downtown areas.
Tourism, New Jersey's seventh-largest industry, generated $43.4 billion for the state in 2015. Last year's numbers are to be released during a tourism conference that starts Thursday in Atlantic City.
Buganski said he's also interested in rethinking part of the division's social media strategy.
"We currently don't have an Instagram account, but we're going to be coming up with a plan to incorporate that moving forward," he said.
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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.