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Senate President Sweeney Honored With ‘Friend Of Tourism Award’ At Annual Conference

New Jersey Travel Industry Association Recognizes Senator for His Dedication to Industry Issues

ATLANTIC CITY – In recognition of his long-standing support of the Garden State’s tourism industry, Senate President Stephen Sweeney received the “Friend of Tourism Award” today from the New Jersey Travel Industry Association.

The senator was presented with the award during the 2010 Governor’s Conference on Tourism, a three-day summit held this week at Trump Marina in Atlantic City.

“I am proud to work with the state’s tourism officials, businesses and cultural leaders to provide the support they need to market our state,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland. “Tourism is extremely important to the state’s economy; as the second largest industry in the state, it employs hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans.”

Tourism generates $37 billion in revenue and directly or indirectly employs more than 500,000 residents – 1 out of 9 New Jersey workers, according to the New Jersey Travel Industry Association. In addition, every dollar invested in marketing returns $36 in revenue to the state, according to NJTIA.

“Tourism in New Jersey is much more than just the Jersey Shore or the casinos,” added Senator Sweeney. “It’s the farms, wineries, historic sites, inns and restaurants, as well as the arts and cultural destinations that make New Jersey such a great tourist attraction. I look forward to my continued work with industry leaders to ensure that New Jersey remains a one-stop destination for travelers.”

The New Jersey Travel Industry Association is comprised of 78 members, including hotels, restaurants, theaters and travel companies. Its members also include local chambers of commerce and regional tourism associations.

“The tourism association has long appreciated the support of the Legislature, and has this year decided to single out for special recognition Senate President Sweeney for his ongoing commitment, understanding and support of the tourism industry,” said Joann DelVescio, president of the New Jersey Travel Industry Association (NJTIA).

The New Jersey Governor’s Conference on Tourism is a joint venture of the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel & Tourism and the New Jersey Travel Industry Association. It is held annually to provide informational sessions to tourism stakeholders on travel trends, research statistics and to discuss business strategies and opportunities for partnerships.