The 2022 summer tourism season has come and gone in the Wildwoods, and the resort destination experienced better than expected results.
Fast Facts - The Wildwoods Tourism Revenue posts record gains:
1. The Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement & Development Authority (GWTIDA) reported that tourism revenue in the key categories of lodging and prepared food & beverage was 24 percent higher in 2022 than the 5-year average tourism revenues. The 2020 season numbers were not used in this comparison.
2. Visitor spending in the key categories of lodging and food & beverage grew better than 9 percent in 2022 over 2021, which was previously a record year for tourism in the Wildwoods.
3. Tourism revenue growth has averaged 11 percent from 2017 to 2022. In 2018 tourism revenue grew by 3 percent over 2017; in 2019 it grew by 9 percent over 2018; and 2021 revenue grew by 22 percent over 2019.
Throughout 2022, the launch of the new marketing and public relations campaign themed "Love Those Wildwood Days," as well as increased positive awareness, hundreds of free events and festivals, award-winning free beaches, and spectacular weather contributed directly to $9.994 million in tourism tax revenue generated in the Wildwoods in 2022 - a 38 percent increase over the past five-year average for both the 2 percent Tourism Tax and the 1.85 percent Tourism Assessment Tax combined.
The growth represents a one million dollar increase over the Wildwoods' 2021 performance, which was a record $8.9 million.
"The Wildwoods continue to perform well above industry benchmarks for tourism growth each year by developing strategic marketing and public relations initiatives aimed at communicating the major attributes that have made the Wildwoods a truly unique family vacation destination," said John Siciliano, executive director/CFO of the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement & Development Authority (GWTIDA).
The 2022 marketing and public relations campaign brought back the "Love Those Wildwood Days" theme song, and highlighted that everything vacationers could ever want in a safe, fun vacation experience, is all right here on one five-mile island. It's "The Best of the Jersey Shore and A Whole Lot More."
The campaign featured an all-new video showing highlights of everything there is to do in the Wildwoods, from relaxing on the Wildwoods' spacious, clean and FREE white sandy beaches, to exploring the 38-block world famous boardwalk with three action-packed amusement piers featuring over 100 rides and attractions, three beachfront water parks, great shopping, fun carnival games and flashing arcades, plus unique dining and nightlife experiences.
The Wildwoods also offer a wide assortment of accommodations to meet everyone's needs and budget; from beautiful beachfront hotels and motels, to condos, townhouses, and many different vacation rentals. The Wildwoods deliver one-of-a-kind value for family vacations at the New Jersey Shore. With over 160 events and festivals throughout the year, and an abundance of fun things to do, visitors will find something that excites and satisfies everyone in their family in the Wildwoods.
The Wildwoods' 2022 strategy focused on building the emotional relationships people have with the Wildwoods and on continuing to change outdated public perceptions of the Wildwoods; as well as promoting all the FREE things to see and do and targeting specific attractors the Wildwoods have to offer such as biking, watersports, beverage tourism, fishing, golf, shopping and more.
The campaign's success came from not only attracting millions of visitors to safely vacation in the Wildwoods, but in garnering extensive media coverage as well; with live broadcast segments in the Wildwoods throughout the year focusing on the destination's successful plans, strategies and proactive approach to responding to the crisis, and remaining one of the leaders in New Jersey tourism.
The campaign's success was also recognized by the New Jersey Tourism Industry Association (NJTIA). GWTIDA received two 2022 New Jersey Tourism Excellence Awards from NJTIA for their 2022 campaign. The awards were won in the categories of Public Relations and Advertising, and recognized the 2022 campaign that was conceived and executed by GWTIDA, its PR agency, Suasion Communications Group, and ad agency, Butler & Clark.
The Wildwoods' tourims website at WildwoodsNJ.com also saw positive visitor growth in 2022, with a record 1,018,626 unique visitors for a 13 percent increase over 2021. The website has grown in popularity and is generating 3,282,335 page views, a 10 percent increase over the previous year. Social media channels also experienced an influx of followers in 2022, with 121,268 Facebook followers, a 10 percent increase over 2021, and 50,306 Instagram followers, a 5.26 percent increase over 2021.