Florida seen the physical damage of the BP oil spill, now it’s seeing the economic damage.
Visit Florida is doing the math on the oil spill’s negative effects on state tourism.
“But the real scary part was, that there were double digit indicators that people were less likely to travel to areas along the Gulf Coast that weren’t directly impacted,” says Visit Florida CEO Chris Thompson.
And in more specific areas of the Panhandle, like South Walton Beach, tourism numbers are down 20%. Thompson says prior to the oil spill, Florida was leading the nation in hotel stays. But, that number dropped off once oil approached the Florida coast.
Statewide impact the oil spill had on tourism remains to be seen in the coming months.