MOBILE, Ala. – SouthCoast USA, a tourism consortium that promotes destinations along the Gulf Coast from Pensacola to Lake Charles, La., asked Friday for BP PLC to grant $10 million for marketing and advertising the region. ”Travel is dependent on perceptions,” said U.S. Travel Association President Roger Dow. “And the greatest threat to the travel community here is the lost opportunity if travelers don’t fully understand the reality that destinations along thousands of miles of the coast are ready to welcome visitors.” In May, BP gave $15 million apiece to promote tourism to Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, as well as $25 million to Florida. Some other money that BP has given states has gone to tourism promotion.
Until that spill camera shows no oil flowing out of the well – thanks Rep. Markey! – I don’t think there’s any amount of money for ads that will help. What might have helped, however, is if the Michelle and the kids had chosen the gulf coast for their little vacation rather than Los Angeles.