Gulf States to BP: You Foot Our Tourism Ad Bill

The $20B Gulf Coast industry worried about summer
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2010 6:20 AM CDT
Gulf States to BP: You Foot Our Tourism Ad Bill
AnnaBelle Tregle, 4, from DesAllemands, La., plays in the Gulf of Mexico while workers in protective suits comb the beach for oil at Dauphin Island, Ala. Friday, May 14, 2010.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The environment and the fishing industry aren't the only ones losing big because of the Gulf oil spill: The $20 billion Gulf Coast tourism industry fears that the constant doom-and-gloom media coverage will decimate summer tourism in the region. That's why Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama are calling for BP to foot the bill for a major ad campaign intended to shore up the tourist industry.

Mississippi has gotten $500,000 from BP thus far for marketing, and has requested $7.5 million more; Florida has asked for $35 million. BP is damned if it does, damned if it doesn't: If it does fund tourism marketing, critics will likely argue that the money would be better spent on cleanup. Whatever sum the energy giant ends up giving to state tourism boards will be small change for it, Ad Age notes: In the first quarter of 2010, BP's daily profit was $93 million.
(More Gulf oil spill stories.)

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