Central Jersey Exists: Governor Murphy Signs Tourism Bill

Governor Phil Murphy has officially settled the long debate and declared that Central Jersey does exist.

The declaration was made as he signed a new bill requiring the Division of Travel and Tourism, within the Department of State, to re-draw the State tourism map to create a “Central Jersey” region and to incorporate it in all regional marketing campaigns, including publications and on VisitNJ.org. The “Central Jersey” region will be comprised of, at minimum, the counties of Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, and Somerset. The Division of Travel and Tourism will also be required to promote overnight stays.

“Today, we settle the decades-old debate once and for all: Central Jersey exists,” said Governor Murphy. “The region has a rich history dating back to the American Revolution, with a legacy graced by historical figures like George Washington. And today, Central Jersey is home to some of the nation’s leading public universities and host to beautiful agricultural landscapes and activities for tourists to immerse themselves in. We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to share these wonders with the world.”

“Central Jersey exists! We are looking forward to working with our Division of Travel and Tourism to highlight this important region for residents and visitors alike,” said New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “Tourism is a vital part of our state’s economy and many of our communities rely upon visitors to support local small businesses. This legislation is an investment in the future of Central Jersey communities and will strengthen the region’s ability to draw new and returning guests.”

The bill will take effect 90 days after enactment. The prime sponsors for this bill are Senator Andrew Zwicker and Assemblyman Roy Freiman. The bill comes as tourism is still down by about 20% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

“After 235 years since the founding of our great state, Central Jersey is finally on the map,” said Senator Andrew Zwicker. “While the very existence of the middle of our state has long been the subject of debate, we are long overdue in designating Central Jersey as the hub of tourism, innovation, and history that it is. This law will promote travel to our quaint river towns and canal villages, scenic walking sites, harvest festivals, breweries, and more Revolutionary War sites than you’ll find anywhere else. Central Jersey offers some of the best experiences to those traveling and vacationing in New Jersey. From this day forward, Central Jersey exists, and you should come visit.”

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