Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno
Secretary of State
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 06, 2012
Contact: Jennifer Stringfellow
Press Office 609-292-7138
Rutgers Visitor Center Designated Official New Jersey Visitor Information Center
Tens of thousands of annual visitors to Rutgers will be able to learn more about New Jersey’s many vacation spots and entertainment options under a new partnership between the university and the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism.
The university’s popular visitor center – which welcomed more than 63,000 people this past year – has officially been designated a New Jersey Visitor Information Center, Rutgers and state tourism officials announced today. It is the only university visitor center in the state, and one of only a handful across the nation, to achieve this distinction.
Under a memorandum of understanding between the two, the Rutgers Visitor Center will be featured in the Official New Jersey Travel Guide as well as other state publications and websites. In return, the visitor center will display and distribute state brochures and additional travel and tourism publications.
Also under this partnership:
- The Rutgers Visitor Center’s website will be linked to the state tourism website.
- The state will provide the visitor center with videos showcasing New Jersey attractions.
- The state will train the university’s Scarlet Ambassadors to provide travel and tourism information to Rutgers visitors. Scarlet Ambassadors are Rutgers students whose duties include staffing the visitor center and leading campus tours for prospective students and their parents.
“Research has shown that 54 percent of travelers who use the services of visitor information centers either extend their stay or visit more places within the state, and 87 percent of them spend additional dollars in New Jersey due to the information they receive at the centers,” said Grace Hanlon, executive director of the state’s Division of Travel and Tourism. “Promoting New Jersey through our visitor information centers is vital to our state’s economy.”
“The Rutgers Visitor Center’s designation as an official New Jersey Visitor Information Center is a natural fit for the State University of New Jersey” said Barbara Loftus, manager of the Rutgers Visitor Center. “Our guests will not only have the opportunity to learn about everything Rutgers has to offer, but also about the many attractions and destinations throughout the state.”
Travel and tourism is a key contributor to the overall economy in New Jersey – to the tune of $35.5 billion in visitor expenditures. It is an industry that employs nearly 310,000 individuals and provides $2.4 billion in spending tax revenues. “Visitor centers provide a variety of services to travel consumers including driving directions, travel options and sightseeing opportunities,” Hanlon said. “Very often these centers are the first point of contact for the millions of visitors who pass through our state every year. Last year, nearly 5 million travelers took advantage of our visitor center facilities located throughout the state.”
The Rutgers Visitor Center, which opened in 2009, is the gateway to the university’s flagship campus and is easily accessible within the campus as well as the surrounding area. The 12,000-square-foot facility, located near High Point Solutions Stadium on the university’s Busch Campus in Piscataway, is the official first stop for prospective students and their families. Just off Route 18 with connections to the region’s major highways, the facility houses interactive multi-media displays on the university’s history, academics, campuses and student life. When not hosting undergraduate admissions tours, the facility hosts a wide range of events for university departments and outside organizations.
Established in 1766, Rutgers is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and one of the nation’s premier public research universities. Rutgers is one of only two New Jersey institutions represented in the prestigious Association of American Universities. Additional information about the Rutgers Visitor Center can be found at www.visitorcenter.rutgers.edu. Check out www.visitnj.org and search through the state tourism site for a full calendar of events, find valuable travel deals, festivals and happenings around the Garden State.