Mission

The Morris County Tourism Bureau (MCTB) is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit destination marketing organization that positively affects the economy of Morris County by promoting the area’s exceptional historic, cultural and recreational opportunities by providing services to residents, business travelers and tourists.

The Role of a DMO:

  • Tell the destination story
  • Provide a platform for local stakeholders to benefit from increased visitation
  • Stimulate visitor spending
  • Inform private and public development decision
  • Spearhead a consistent brand message for tourism partners

Group of people walking through Morristown, New Jersey

Value of Tourism in Morris County

  • Revenues generated: $2.1 Billion = 4.1 % of MC economy (top 10)
  • Jobs created: 28,700 = 9.8 % of MC jobs (top 5)
  • Local taxes collected: $290 Million
  • Hotel Occupancy tax: $ 11.1 Million
  • Residents tax savings: $700/year

National Statistics:
1980–2016 – spending on tourism has increased by 200% vs. only 75% for other categories
1998-2014 – Hospitality/Tourism outperformed all other industries in job growth – 10% vs -1%
33% of new residents first visited as a tourist
20% of executives attending a conference will book meetings in host city within 5 years
27% of executives chose corporate HQ/Distribution sites based on previous business travel
For each 1% growth in tourism jobs, there is a 3% increase in overall job growth (iceberg effect)

Heritage Tourism & Morris County

The MCVC specializes in heritage tourism, which is defined as “traveling to experience the places, artifacts and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past.” The MCVC opened its doors across from the historic Morris County Courthouse in 1997, thanks to the foresight and support of the local Board of County Freeholders. Indeed, 1997 was an auspicious year for combining culture and history with tourism because the Task Force on New Jersey History was released, calling attention to the huge, untapped potential for developing heritage tourism assets that were being ignored. The National Trust for Historic Preservation also had developed a 1994 report, How to
Succeed in Heritage Tourism, which after a three-year pilot study demonstrated that using the following basic framework of principles and steps would result in successful heritage-tourism initiatives.

Five Principles of Heritage Tourism:
• Focus on Authenticity and Quality
• Preserve and Protect Resources
• Make Sites Come Alive
• Find the Fit Between the Community and Tourism
• Collaborate
Four Steps for Sustainable Tourism
• Assess the Potential

• Plan and Manage
• Develop the Product

• Market for Success

  • Develop and enhance the heritage tourism product.

  • Create a multiyear marketing plan for Morris County.

  • Create a stable source of funding for the Morris County Visitors Center.

The assessment also examined specific historic sites and identified four key challenges:
1) Irregular and infrequent hours/days of operation
2) Lack of financial and human resources
3) Different periods and areas of significance attract different audiences
4) Inconsistent experience/value for money

During the last five years, the work of the MCVC has focused on addressing these challenges, and has been
successful in marketing, partnering with affinity groups and enhancing the tourism product. For example, summer walking
tours attract a varied audience with features such as the historic murder trail of Antoine Le Blanc, a Victorian garden
tour and a haunted cemetery tour. The MCVC creates and distributes 20,000 annual visitors’ guides to attract a national
audience. In 2002, Morristown became the only New Jersey town ever to be chosen by the National Trust as one of
America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations. This year’s cooperative marketing campaign, funded in part by the New
Jersey Office of Travel and Tourism, features the four national historic landmarks of Morris County in both state and national
magazines.

The MCVC still is working on gaining significant market share
and creating a stable source of funding. Hopefully, the
passage of current legislation (Senate bill S-2772), which calls
for the creation of a heritage-tourism master plan, will enable
us to address these more difficult issues. These matters affect
not only the MCTC, but also many other similar organizations throughout New Jersey.

Having a rest after the tour at Macculloch Hall

Morris County, located 30 miles west of NYC, is home to some of America’s most important history and culture just waiting for you to explore. Start by walking in the footsteps of Revolutionary icons such as George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, then pick apples right off the tree at one of our verdant farms and end your day having a delicious dinner; discover how to make my weekend Morris County!
6 Court St. Morristown, NJ 07960
Phone: 973-631-5151
Leslie Bensley Photo of Jane Joe Executive Director at Morris County Tourism Bureau
6 Court St. Morristown, NJ 07960
973-631-5151 [email protected]