by Jonathan Vatner | May 01, 2004

Noreen Bodman
Noreen Bodman

While part of an 8 percent hotel tax implemented last July is slated to help New Jersey fund future convention and visitor bureaus, some cities are creating ad-hoc agencies now to attract business.
    The state has just one CVB, the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority. For more to be created, the Trenton-based New Jersey Travel Industry Association, working with the state Office of Travel and Tourism, must decide where and what their jurisdictions will be, which can take at least two or three years, according to NJTIA board member Noreen Bodman.
    Some areas are not waiting. New Brunswick is now looking to create a CVB on its own. To the south, the Camden Waterfront Marketing Bureau launched the South Jersey Tourism Corp. in March to help five local counties compete with nearby Atlantic City and Philadelphia.
    In the Meadowlands, west of New York City, the local chamber of commerce aims to create a CVB by year-end to help promote a major golf development and a theme park, both breaking ground this year.
    With proper oversight and tax controls, the new bureaus should benefit the entire state, said Robert Canton, Tampa, Fla.-based director of convention and tourism practice for PricewaterhouseCoopers.