SOMERSET COUNTY: Tourism means $1 billion in business activity  

Somerset County tourism accounted for $1.1 billion in economic activity in 2014, according to a study commissioned by the Somerset County Business Partnership.
“The Economic Impact of Tourism in Somerset County — 2014 Results” report concludes that Somerset County, with its combination of walk-able and suburban communities, provides a variety of activities that appeal to visitors.
Research shows that 2014 tourism expenditures in New Jersey totaled more than $40 billion. State and county numbers mark the fifth consecutive year of growth of tourism expenditures. The average annual growth rate for tourism spending over the past 10 years is 9.1 percent.
The breakdown of the statewide figures show that accommodations accounted for the largest portion of expenditures at $10.9 billion of 28 percent. Food and beverage expenditures followed at $9.7 billion of 24 percent. 
Somerset County attracts of out-of-state tourism with easy access from New York and New England. Visitation locally generates $337 million in food and beverage sales, $243 million in shopping dollars, $207 million in accommodations, and $190 in recreation and entertainment. These expenditures generated $3.4 million in taxes collected at the municipal level in Somerset County communities, the report says.
The average growth rate in Somerset County is 2.3 percent over the past decade. Annual growth outpaces the United States and New Jersey in all years except 2014. Tourism in Somerset County accounted for nearly 20,000 jobs in 2014, exceeding the pre-recession high of 18,000.
One conclusion of the study shows that visitation in the summer months of June, July and August showed significant increases (82 percent, 55 percent and 46 percent, respectively) in 2014 when compared to a decade ago when business travel was the primary driver of out-of-area visitors. May and October remain the big business travel months, up 23 percent and 11 percent over the past decade.
Among Somerset County’s tourist attractions are Duke Farms, the U.S. equestrian team headquarters, the U.S. Golf Association Museum, Somerset Patriots baseball, numerous Revolutionary War buildings and encampments, world-class restaurants and shopping, and numerous active and passive recreation opportunities.
The study was conducted by Stockton University’s Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism and led by Dr. Brian J. Tyrrell.
“The Economic Impact of Tourism in Somerset County – 2014 Results” is available at
Information on Somerset County Tourism is available by calling Jackie Morales at 908-218-4300 or at 