June 17, 2024


Unforgettable trip

NJ beach businesses worry high gas prices will discourage summer travel

Many in the travel and tourism industry are concerned the continued rise in gas prices across the U.S. and in New Jersey will impact their bottom line.

This weekend saw perfect weather for the beach, but many businesses at the Shore and other destinations say crowds felt lighter, especially on the roads.

While less traffic can be a good thing for travelers, it may mean they are trying to stay home to save money as gas prices rise. This could take a hit on restaurants and stores.

Thomas Arnone, the Monmouth County commissioner director, says it still too early in the season to tell if there is an impact with school and sports-related weekend activities filling what would normally be beach days.

“All those events to deal on the weekend with children, I didn’t want to judge it by that. But obviously in the back of mind is: Are these gas prices affecting these situations? And quite frankly, we’d be naive to think it’s not going to,” Arnone says.

A AAA spokesperson says so far, the pent-up urge to travel caused by the pandemic outweighs high pump prices for many consumers. However, a poll done earlier this year showed 75% of drivers would change their driving habits if gas hit $5 a gallon.