Saturday, May 25, 2024

California Gov. Gavin Newsom roasted over video promoting state’s ‘record’ tourism: ‘Smoke and mirrors’

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom has his head in the clouds – at least that’s the case with a new video he posted to tout what he says are “record-breaking tourism numbers” in the state.

In the video, Newsom appears to be suspended high in the air above the Golden Gate Bridge, leading some online to speculate if Newsom is, in fact, Spider-Man. While others were quick to point out the many issues plaguing California, like crime, homelessness and sky-high prices.

Newsom began the video with, “So, I’m up here on the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. A testament to America’s greatness … California’s greatness and we couldn’t be more proud.”

He continued, “Over $150 billion of tourism spent, unprecedented in our state’s history. If you haven’t had the chance to see the magnificence, the beauty of our great state, it’s time to visit California.”

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Critics quickly took to X to share their reaction to the governor’s video.

“Is the @CAgovernor also Spider-Man?” one person asked.

“You are calling the millions of illegals invading California tourists?” one user wrote.

“Weird way to celebrate inflation, but do you bud,” another user wrote.

“Meanwhile, CA residency just hit an all time low. People can’t leave CA fast enough,” another comment read.

“Having illegals cross your border by the thousands doesn’t count as ‘Tourism’….,” another user commented.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom posted a video on X at the top of the Golden Gate Bridge as he declared that unprecedented “record-breaking tourism numbers” occurred in 2023. (DeAgostini/Getty Images/X @GavinNewsom)

On Sunday, Newsom’s office released new data that showed California continues to have the largest market share of tourism in the nation, with travel spending in the state reaching an all-time record high of $150.4 billion last year, which surpassed the previous record $144.9 billion spent in 2019.

“From our world-renowned coastline, to the world’s tallest trees, to our iconic cities and theme parks, California is the nation’s coming attraction. Visitors from all over the world are coming here to experience the wonder of the Golden State, boosting our economy and creating good-paying jobs for years to come,” Newsom said.

California Senate Minority Leader Brian Jones disagreed with Newsom’s math.

“Newsom touts a record-breaking $150.4 billion in tourism spending for 2023, supposedly surpassing the pre-pandemic figure of $144.9 billion in 2019. However, when adjusted for inflation, tourism spending would have to be a staggering $173 billion to beat the 2019 number,” Jones told Fox News Digital.

“Of course, everything costs more in California thanks to ‘Gavinomics,’ and of course, his statistics don’t take that into account. It’s more smoke and mirrors as usual with this governor. Rather than chasing headlines with deceiving statistics, he should spend some time actually fixing California and our multiple crises like homelessness, affordability and crime.” — California Senate Minority Leader Brian Jones

Jones said everything costs more in California thanks to “Gavinomics.”

“It’s more smoke and mirrors as usual with this governor. Rather than chasing headlines with deceiving statistics, he should spend some time actually fixing California and our multiple crises like homelessness, affordability and crime,” Jones said.

California Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher shared a similar sentiment.

“These numbers are as phony as Gavin’s baseball career – when you factor in inflation (like normal people have to), tourism is down 14% on his watch. Crime and homelessness have become the California brand, and no amount of spin from Newsom will change that,” Gallagher told Fox News Digital in a statement.

In the state’s new data, Visit California CEO Caroline Beteta said California tourism is back where it belongs and is setting records and providing for the workers, business owners and all Californians who depend on the travel industry as a cornerstone of the state’s economy.

“The industry has once again proved its ability to recover from any challenge, whether it be economic or environmental. California continues to be the largest, most diverse and most resilient tourism economy in the United States,” Beteta said.

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Newsom at NASA research center in California

Gov. Gavin Newsom said California has experienced record-breaking tourism numbers as the state struggles with a number of issues, including rampant crime and homelessness. (Tayfun Coskun)

According to Visit California, the new travel spending record generated $12.7 billion in state and local tax revenue by visitors in 2023, marking a 3% increase over 2019. However, tourists spent $37.7 billion in the Bay Area in 2023, down slightly from $39 billion spent in 2019.

“It would be great if the governor put as much energy into improving California as he does into taking unearned victory laps with misleading statistics. Maybe then we’d actually break a record,” Gallagher added.

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Gov Gavin Newsom speaking at an event

Gov. Gavin Newsom was accused of touting tourism numbers that don’t account for inflation. (California Governor Gavin Newsom YouTube channel)

The state statistics also showed that tourism created 64,900 new jobs in 2023, bringing total industry employment to 1,155,000.

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In addition to visiting the state, more people are moving to California, according to Newsom, who also said the state’s population is increasing for the first time since the pandemic.

Fox News Digital reached out to Newsom’s office for comment but has not yet heard back.



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