Here are five takeaways about the 2023 summer tourist season in Atlantic and Cape May counties from the fourth annual Jersey Shoreview Fall Tourism and Business Panel held this week at Stockton University, according to reporting in the Press of Atlantic City.

1- More Visitors Spent Less and Went Home Sooner

There was an 8% increase in the number of visitors to Cape May County compared with 2022, but they didn't spend as much money or stay as long at they did last year, according to The Cape May County Department of Tourism.  Of course, bad weather is always a factor in this number.

2- More People Traveled into Atlantic City

There was a 3.7% increase over 2022 in the amount of vehicles passing through the Pleasantville toll plaza of the Atlantic City Expressway. In all, 5.5 million vehicles paid the toll this summer.

3- More People Are Coming to Atlantic City for Non-Gaming Activities

An interesting statistic found that there has been a noticeable trend toward more non-gaming based activities in Atlantic City. In 2022, the split of estimated gaming to non-gaming was 55% to 45%, compared with a 61% to 39% split favoring gaming in 2017.

4- Restaurants Report a Continued Increase in Takeout Business

Continuing a trend that started during the pandemic, South Jersey restaurants reported that they are still doing an increased amount of takeout business, to the point where fewer in-house workers were needed than in the past.

5- Cape May and Atlantic County to Continue Focus on Offseason Activities

One thing that everyone seems to agree on is the importance of focusing on drawing more visitors in the "shoulder season" and the winter. Expect a concerted effort to expand on offseason events moving into 2024.

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