Florham Park N.J. – April 13, 2022 – The perfect match has come to fruition with the merger of the Morris County Economic Development Alliance (MCEDA), the nonprofit 501(c)(3) of the Morris County Economic Development Corporation, and the Morris County Tourism Bureau (MCTB).
“Bringing together Tourism and Economic Development into one-unified structure offers an ideal mechanism to leverage and optimize our existing assets while setting the table for additional strategic growth initiatives,” stated Craig Schlosser, vice president of the Morris County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) and president MCEDA.
“The overlap and opportunity for a stronger-unified structure is apparent from 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 through supporting business growth, attraction and retention while the Tourism Bureau focuses on the business-to-consumer market.”
MCTB is a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), one of only 13 in New Jersey. The bureau drives thousands of out-of-state visitors to Morris County each year and is considered one of the premiere heritage DMOs in the state. The merger with MCEDC will enhance the bureau’s marketing abilities, according to Leslie Bensley, the bureau’s former executive director who recently retired and now serves as a consultant for the organization.
“The unified structure allows for a more effective and focused marketing strategy, which can help drive investment from both in-state and out-of-state stakeholders, along with attracting additional visitors to the region,” she said.
Bensley noted that tourism contributes to the quality of life within Morris County, which helps local businesses with employee recruitment and retention. She said the partnership with EDC will enable the Tourism Bureau to promote corporate events. In addition, strong tourism benefits local retail businesses, restaurants and hotels, a sector hit particularly hard by COVID, she added.
“This partnership raises many boats,” Bensley.
The merger of MCEDC and MCTB has been discussed on and off since the mid-1990s but was given a jump start recently by the collective efforts of Meghan Hunscher, president of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce who also sits on the board of directors of the Tourism Bureau, and the Morris County Commissioners.
“There is so much overlap between economic development and the business of tourism that enabling these two organizations to work together more closely made perfect sense,” Hunscher said. “Tourism contributes significantly to the county’s economic engine and EDC is charged with driving that engine to new heights. This makes both stronger.”
Tayfun Selen, director of the Morris County Board of County Commissioners, agreed. “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 quality of life second to none. Our ability to attract visitors and businesses alike only strengthens the county and this merger advances both those efforts.”
Added Jeffrey Vasser, executive director of the New Jersey Division of Travel & Tourism, “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 their attractions and reach greater target audiences, this merger further enriches our statewide effort.”
Since the merger on March 11, the Tourism Bureau and MCEDC have worked together on several key initiatives and programs, which are set to launch in the second quarter of 2022. For more information about the Morris County Tourism Bureau please visit morristourism.org. For more information about the Morris County Economic Development Corporation, please visit morriscountyedc.org.
About the Morris County Chamber of Commerce
The Morris County Chamber of Commerce has more than 700 member organizations that range from entrepreneurs and small businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies. The chamber’s mission is to collaboratively advance the interests of its members to champion a thriving business and community environment. The chamber’s many events, meetings and seminars provide a platform for its members to connect, collaborate, learn and succeed. The chamber is dedicated to the advancement of Morris County’s businesses and community by providing services, information and advocacy to support the success of its member organizations. They are headquartered in Florham Park.