In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, we’ve spent the last two weeks in constant contact with family and friends in New Jersey’s hard hit coastal counties. As of today, the lights and heat are back on for the majority of homes. Gas rationing is being canceled and most students will return to school after missing two weeks of classes. Unfortunately, for thousands of families that had permanent or vacation homes in Shore communities such as Sea Bright, Belmar, Seaside, and Mantaloking, as well as those who saw serious damage in Northwest counties and the Raritan Bay, the hardest part of the storm recovery process is just beginning. It will take time, but, we know the people of the state are “Jersey Strong” and they will recover with help from across the country.
Longer term, tourism is a major force driving the economy of the entire State of New Jersey. In fact, in recent years, the leisure, hospitality and retail sector accounted for more then $43 billion dollars and 8.9 percent of the state’s Gross Domestic Product. Beach erosion, combined with the loss of so many vacation homes and coastal tourist attractions, will hurt many small businesses and communities across the state.
As the recovery takes hold, and it will — sooner than you think, don’t give up on the Jersey Shore or other hard hit parts of the state. Restaurants, artists, and small businesses that are able to re-open in the next few weeks and months will all need customers to keep them afloat. New Jersey will recover and be stronger than ever.
In the spirit of “Jersey Strong” we invite fellow travel bloggers to share links to favorite posts about New Jersey vacations, attractions and memories. Together we can make a difference.