ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Tourism promoters and members of the Christie administration have been saying for months that tourism was down last year as a result of Superstorm Sandy.
But Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno told the state’s annual tourism conference Thursday in Atlantic City that 2013 was actually a banner year.
She says tourism spending topped $40 billion, beating the previous high set in 2012.
Her claim contradicts statements made just last month by Michele Brown, the state Economic Development Authority chief, at hearings on Sandy. She said 2013′s tourism numbers were slightly below the 2012 figure.
An EDA spokeswoman says Thursday’s report has new data that wasn’t available earlier in the year, and includes the entire state, not just the shore.