Travel Association Calls For $500 Million Gulf Coast Advocacy Plan
Just how devastating has the BP oil spill been to the Gulf Coast? The U.S. Travel Association says that up to 400,000 travel industry jobs could be lost. The total potential cost of the spill to the travel and tourism industry has been estimated at $22.7 billion and it could take up to three years for the area to recover. Florida's Gulf Coast could be worst affected, losing as much as $18. billion.
"Travel is a perception business and the impact of disasters like the BP oil spill on the industry is actually predictable," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association in a press release. "We know from this research that the oil spill will have long-term effects on businesses and jobs in the Gulf Coast region unless we counteract the usual course of events with an unprecedented response."
The association has called for a $500 million marketing campaign to get travelers back to the Gulf. Proposed techniques include the creation of a central website to provide information about safe areas for travel, getting the U.S. Commerce department to create travel-related trade missions to encourage tourism from international buyers, and expanding the categories eligible for federal tax credits for tourism-related businesses.
Hotel News Now reports that Dow is expected to testify before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee in order to advocate for the funding which could prevent a loss of $7.5 billion during the next three years.