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Caputo on Committee Hearing Regarding COVID-19 Impact on New Jersey Tourism, Gaming and Arts

Gathering information on how the pandemic has effected New Jersey’s tourism, gaming and cultural arts industries, an Assembly Panel on Thursday heard from officials, advocates and academic experts on different areas of these industries, such as casinos, restaurants, art foundations and shore rentals.

The Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts chairman Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Essex) released the following statement:

“Tourism and hospitality are vital industries in New Jersey, bringing in over 100 million visitors every year, producing billions of dollars in revenue and providing nearly ten percent of the jobs throughout our state. Similarly, gaming and the arts have made significant contributions to our state’s culture and economy.

“New Jersey is well-known for its wide range of beaches, casinos, cuisine and more, but all of these have been greatly impacted by COVID-19. No one has been able or willing to travel and enjoy in-person experiences at museums, restaurants or sporting events over the past few months due to COVID-19 forcing businesses to shut down.

“Today’s speakers helped shed light on the situation these industries are facing as a result of the pandemic. I want to thank them for sharing their perspectives and offering insight on business and revenue, any viable alternatives they have found to traditional service and the efficacy of existing governmental assistance.

“We must – and will – continue to seek solutions in order to ensure the survival of tourism, gaming and arts in our state – not only on behalf of the many business owners and employees in these industries, but on behalf of the countless residents and visitors who take joy in these activities. After the year we’ve had, we could all use a little more joy in our lives.”