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 chief, at hearings on Sandy. She said 2013’s tourism numbers were slightly below the 2012 figure.
Tourism promoters also told a legislative hearing in December that the governor’s “Stronger than the Storm” campaign came too late to save the first post-Sandy summer.
Guadagno says she could not explain the discrepancies.