The oil spill will probably have a huge negative effect on tourism in the Gulf of Mexico. In Florida, for instance, the spill is likely to cost in the billions of dollars in lost tourism profits. Tourism hotspots in the Gulf are increasing their efforts to inform tourists of the state of the spill through social media and user-generated information.
The businesses that rely on tourism, especially during the heavy travel season of the Summer will suffer. Not only will restaurants and hotels feel the reaching effects of this oil spill, but companies that offer boat tours or fishing expeditions will be hurt by the inability to ensure their customers an oil free catch.
The tourist industry in Mexico will be severely threatened by the oil spill. It has already been battered down greatly by the “drug war” that continues, threatening the lives of millions of civilians. Tourism is all about perception by the public. The media has created a huge fear out of the oil spill (I think rightfully so) and therefore, the public is scared about the shores. People will likely not travel to the shores, even if that specific one has not been hit by the spill yet.
One effect of the oil spill may be to temporarily increase tourism dollars in the form of people traveling to the Gulf region to provide relief work. Agencies and their staff as well as individuals attempting to assess or help clean up the spill would have a similar economic effect as visiting tourists, because they would be staying in hotels and using restaurants and purchasing from stores. However, the negative effects of the spill on the tourism industry at large and over the long term would most likely not be offset at all by the minor amount of money generated by relief workers.
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