Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 30


Gulf coast

The

New Orleans at twilight, as the city comes alive.

interviewed leisure travelers and 95 travelers, percent of those people felt like Florida had already been affected by oil. The survey was taken in the week of June 4, and up till that point we had no oil,” says Chris Thompson, president & CEO of VISIT FLORIDA. “We also found out in the survey that 54 percent of the people said they were closely monitoring the situation. Ninety-nine percent were tracking what was happening, and 87 percent said they were watching via TV. We had to overcome all the major networks and cable stations.” To make that happen, each of the four states have taken to the Internet, national and local TV stations, rad radio, billboards, Twitter fee feeds—everything short of sky skywriting—to let visitors kn know their beaches are tar tarball free. While plenty of stories ab about the oil spill were to told and will continue to be be, Destinations gave the st state tourism officials an op opportunity to speak to yo you directly, in their own w words. In the following p pages, officials from Alab bama, Florida, Mississippi, a and Louisiana offer their r reflections on a difficult s summer, prognostications o on what’s ahead, and p promise a memorable v visit the next time you c come on down.

30

DESTINATIONS

/ SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2010

AP PHOTO/CHIP ENGLISH

T

Jimmy Buffett headlined “Live From the Gulf Coast,” a benefit concert.

he media spent much of the spring and summer reporting on the potential damage being done to the Gulf of Mexico, its sea life, and the ecology of the surrounding states by the barrels of oils being poured into the water from a leak 5,000 feet below sea level. In the meantime, the state tourism officials were trying to plug a leak of their own—the perception that their beaches were covered in oil and their seafood was tainted. State officials and CVB staff members were implementing crisis communications plans and ad campaigns, scrambling to get the message to their potential visitors and return customers that damage to the beaches and waters was not nearly as bad as what they were seeing on TV, in print, and on the Internet. The 206 million gallons of oil and the chemical dispersants used to break down the oil are real concerns. However, the Associated Press reported that more than a dozen scientists it interviewed say Louisiana’s coastal wetlands are healing themselves and might weather the spill better than had been

originally feared. But for the four Gulf states, those kinds of more positive forecasts, while welcome, are too late to recover a devastating hit that all but destroyed their summer tourism. The tourism officials who spoke to Destinations say the pervasive coverage of the spill om and the heavy speculation from buted scientists and experts contributed to the loss of visitors. And there is data to support their theory. Travelocity recently conducted a poll of 2,000 travelers and concluded that “misperceptions abound” after finding that many tourists believe the oil that spilled from the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform spread beyond its actual reach. In fact, 25 percent of responders believed the Florida Keys and Panama City were impacted by oil, despite the fact that those beaches are open and clear. VISIT FLORIDA conducted a study of its own in June, and their findings were similarly discouraging in that public perception did not match reality. “We



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010

Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010
Contents
Back on Their Feet
Social Butterfly
Niagara USA Gets Boost
Save the Date
Clean Diesel Landmark
Clean Diesel Landmark
Media Gets the Message
Riteway to Drive
Youth Is Served
Trio of Options
Marketplace Event Preview
No Raised Taxes on Diesel
Is the Coast Clear?
Tour Stop
Museum Guide
Shopping Guide
Alabama
Arkansas
Louisiana
Mississippi
Colorado
Idaho
Montana
Utah
Wyoming
Ontario
Québec
Saskatchewan
Manitoba
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - Cover2
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 1
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 2
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - Contents
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 4
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 5
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 6
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 7
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 8
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 9
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 10
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - Back on Their Feet
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 12
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - Social Butterfly
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - Niagara USA Gets Boost
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 15
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - Save the Date
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 17
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 18
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 19
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - Clean Diesel Landmark
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 21
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - Clean Diesel Landmark
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 23
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - Media Gets the Message
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 25
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - Riteway to Drive
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 27
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - Is the Coast Clear?
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 29
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 30
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 31
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 32
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 33
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 34
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Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 36
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 37
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - Tour Stop
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 39
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Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - Alabama
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Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - Arkansas
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Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - Louisiana
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Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - Mississippi
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Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 76
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 77
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 78
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 79
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - Youth Is Served
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - Marketplace Event Preview
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - No Raised Taxes on Diesel
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 83
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 84
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 85
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 86
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 87
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 88
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - Museum Guide
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 90
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Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - Shopping Guide
Destinations Magazine - September/October 2010 - 98
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