They come and they spend money

Some are not afraid to let others know how they feel about tourons – the combination of a tourist and moron. BY RON MACARTHUR
September 16, 2011

Thousands upon thousands of people come to the coastal resorts of Sussex County each summer. They bring with them traffic congestion, some rude behavior and bad driving habits, but they also bring money – lots of it.

Tourism is big business in Sussex County as the second leading industry behind agriculture. According to the Southern Delaware Tourism Office, tourism supports more than 15,000 jobs and accounts for $800 million in direct sales. Those numbers jump up dramatically when you figure in the second and third tier jobs and revenue generated by tourists.

Just about every business in the Cape Region – from convenience stores to box stores – benefits from tourist dollars.

Statewide, tourism provides more than 39,000 jobs and pumps nearly $2 billion into the economy.

Locals may joke and call our summer visitors tourons – a mix of tourist and moron – but without them our lifestyle in Sussex County would be far, far different.

Some may argue that’s not a bad thing, but I doubt you would get that argument from the thousands who have jobs thanks to tourism and the hundreds of shop owners who depend on summer visitors to pay the bills.

  • Ron MacArthur has lived and worked in Sussex County all his life. As a journalist for more than 40 years, he has covered everything from county and town meetings to presidential visits. He also has a unique perspective having served as an elected official and lived on both sides of the county.

    Contact Ron at