Newark, NJ (June 21, 2013) The Greater Newark Convention & Visitors Bureau (GNCVB) has become the first official Destination Marketing Organization in the state of New Jersey to establish a Tourism Improvement District (GNTID), which will provide a sustainable funding source to market and promote the city as a premier tourist destination.

The legislation championed by City Council will add a small assessment to all overnight stays at area hotels. The fees collected, paid for by visitors, will be dedicated to marketing and promoting the destination. “This legislation is a visionary commitment on the part of Newark’s political, civic and corporate leadership to further economic growth and job creation in Newark.” said Robert Provost, GNCVB Board Chair. “By passing this legislation Newark’s city council has enabled the marketing of Newark to overnight visitors both domestically and internationally while advancing the image of Newark globally.”

“The passage of the legislation will enable us to be competitive in the marketplace, securing new business for our properties” said Pat Strocchia, Area Sales Leader- Marriott Hotels.  Michael Davidson, Executive Director of the GNCVB noted that the area takes in over $339 million in state and local taxes, yet none of the money was coming back to support tourism efforts. Newark currently sells a million room nights per year, supporting 21,009 jobs in the tourism sector in Essex County alone, accounting for 10% of the county’s workforce. The sustainable funding will allow the GNCVB to produce the tools necessary to increase the length of stay at area hotels, increase per capita spending in the tourism sector, as well as attracting new events, meetings and conferences that will bring significant economic impact to the region along with new job creation.

The GNCVB began as an incubator program under the leadership of Brick City Development Corporation back in 2008. Today a standalone 501(C) 6, the GNCVB is making great strides in developing the destination. The past May came the launch of a Newark Tourism Brand designed to resonate with visitors. Having the funding in place will allow the GNCVB to roll out the Newark >> Happening campaign and move the needle on the destination.