The State developed the Stronger Than The Storm (STTS) tourism and marketing campaign following federal government approval of using Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery funds to support the recovery of communities and small businesses in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The STTS public awareness campaign launched on May 25, 2013, with the goal of making citizens in New Jersey and surrounding states aware that the Jersey Shore was open for business as a vacation and day trip destination. The campaign – to which the State committed $30 million in first and second round CDBG Disaster Recovery funds – included television and radio ads, a website, and events such as concerts and competitions in impacted communities throughout the summer of 2013. Social media was a key component of the campaign, as evidenced by more than 98,000 Facebook “likes”, 6,616 Twitter followers, and more than 83,000 video views of the STTS commercial on YouTube.
The State used remaining CDBG Disaster Recovery funds for tourism promotion to conduct a 2014 campaign under the tagline “Going Strong” to drive visitors to the Jersey Shore. Comprehensive statistical data on the tourism and marketing campaign will be available through the NJ Division of Travel and Tourism in March 2015. In September 2014, the State redirected all web domains and social media followers to NJ Travel and Tourism digital assets. The Post-Sandy Tourism campaign undertaken with CDBG Disaster Recovery funds by the State is now concluded.