Tourism spending in the Princeton and Central Jersey region is on the rise for the third year in a row, says the Princeton Chamber of Commerce, citing figures recently released by the state Division of Travel and Tourism.
According to state statistics, tourist spending in Mercer County was at an all time high — $1.13 billion in 2012, which is almost 4 percent higher than the previous year. In 2011 spending was $1.08 billion, which was a 10 percent increase over 2010’s expenditures of $973 million.
The chamber also points out that state and local tax receipts in Mercer County were $151.7 million — 3.3 percent of the state revenues, a 4.1 increase from 2011’s $145.7 million.
The spending breakdowns in Mercer County for 2012 were $299 million for food and beverage, $241 million for transport, $233 million for retail, $193 million for lodging, and $145 million for recreation.
Direct tourism employment was down slightly, -0.1 percent or 14 jobs, in Mercer County during 2012 with 11,148 positions, or 5.1 percent of Mercer County’s jobs. In 2011 there were 11,162 positions, up from 2010’s figure of 11,022. The total employment impact was 20,638, or 9.4 percent of the county’s employment in 2012.
The chamber says that it expects tourism spending to continue to increase as a result of high-profile sporting events coming to the region including the Super Bowl and Special Olympics in 2014.