RUTHERFORD—16 destination marketing organizations have received grants, including the Meadowlands Liberty Convention and Visitors Bureau, according to visitnj.com. MLCVB received the highest in the state's recent travel and tourism grant cycle, with $300,000 awarded over the next two years, through June 2013.
New Jersey's Department of Travel and Tourism is on the third two-year cycle of the grant program, which provides regional destination marketing organizations (DMO) funding under a "4-1" formula in which the seed money is raised by the DMO and then quadrupled based on qualified programs.
According to the Destination Marketing Association International, New Jersey remains one of the few states that does not directly fund tourism promotion by directly allocating tax money from hotel or other special taxes. "The Meadowlands region is one of the most recognized destination brands in the world because of our Meadowlands Sports Complex, but it had the smallest budget of any DMAI-accredited DMOs," stated Jim Kirkos, CEO of the MLCVB, which, with Atlantic City, is one of two DMAI-accredited DMOs in New Jersey.
MLCVB has long been at the center of the DMO movement in New Jersey. It recently helped organize 17 of its peers into New Jersey Destination Marketing Organizations, which is developing concepts for additional funding mechanisms for travel and tourism.