Posted on April 13, 2022
The perfect match materialized with the merger of Morris County Office of Tourism and the Morris County Economic Development Alliancewhich is the not-for-profit arm of the Morris County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC).
“Bringing together tourism and economic development into a unified structure provides an ideal mechanism to leverage and optimize our existing assets while setting the stage for other strategic growth initiatives,” said Craig Schlosser, MCEDC Vice President and Alliance President.
“The overlap and the desirability of a stronger unified structure is evident at a high level,” he continued. “Both organizations focus on economic development. The Morris County Economic Development Corporation, which is a division of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, focuses primarily on the business-to-business portion of economic development by supporting business growth, attraction and retention, while the Office of the tourism focuses on the business-to-business part of economic development. -consumer market.
The Tourism Bureau is a “destination marketing organization,” one of only 13 in New Jersey. The office attracts thousands of out-of-state visitors to Morris County each year and is considered one of the leading heritage destination marketing organizations in the state. The merger with the MCEDC will strengthen the marketing capabilities of the office, according to Leslie Bensley, former executive director of the office who recently retired and now serves as a consultant for the organization.
“The unified structure allows for a more effective and targeted marketing strategy, which can help drive investment from in-state and out-of-state stakeholders, while attracting additional visitors to the region,” said declared Bensley.
She noted that tourism contributes to the quality of life in Morris County, which helps local businesses recruit and retain employees. She said the partnership with the MCEDC will enable the Tourism Bureau to promote corporate events. In addition, strong tourism is benefiting local retail businesses, restaurants and hotels, a sector particularly affected by COVID, she added.
“This partnership lifts many boats,” Bensley mentioned.
The merger of MCEDA and MCTB has been discussed on and off since the mid-1990s, but was recently initiated through the collective efforts of Morris County. Board of County Commissioners and Meghan Hunscher, President of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce who also sits on the board of directors of the Tourist Office.
“There is so much overlap between economic development and tourism activity that allowing these two organizations to work more closely together made perfect sense,” he added. Huntscher mentioned. “Tourism is a significant contributor to the county’s economic engine and EDC is responsible for driving that engine to new heights. It makes both of them stronger.
JAyfun Selen, director of the Morris County Board of Commissioners, OK. “Morris County is a special place to live, work and play,” he said. “We have thriving businesses in many different sectors, an excellent transportation system, superior education and an unparalleled quality of life. Our ability to attract visitors and businesses only strengthens the county and this merger advances both of these efforts.
Added Jeffrey Vasser, Executive Director of the New Jersey Travel and Tourism Division, “Local tourism plays an instrumental role in the overall promotion of New Jersey as a destination state. By enhancing the Morris County Tourism Bureau’s ability to better market its attractions and reach a wider target audience, this merger further enriches our statewide efforts.
Since the March 11 merger, the Tourism Bureau and MCEDC have worked together on several key initiatives and programs, which are expected to launch in the second quarter of 2022. For more information on the Morris County Tourism Bureau, please visit morristourism.org. For more information on the Morris County Economic Development Corporation, please visit morriscountyedc.org.
Top right: Statue of Washington in front of Ford Mansion, Morristown
Top Left: Downtown Morristown
Center right: Lee’s Marina at Lake Hopatcong
Bottom left: Independence Day celebration in Morristown with Revolutionary War era re-enactments.