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Gulf Spill Could Cost Region $22.7 Billion in Travel Dollars
from CNN
Perception is the wild card in how the oil disaster will affect the Gulf coast region's travel revenue, according to analysis conducted by Oxford Economics for the U.S. Travel Association. The effects of the oil spill on the region's travel industry could last up to three years and cost up to $22.7 billion, according to the study released last week. More
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Travel Industry Group Wants BP to Pay $500 Million
from USA Today
The travel industry's main trade group demanded Thursday that BP pay $500 million to mitigate up to $23 billion of losses in tourism spending it anticipates along the Gulf Coast in the next three years. "(BP's) 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," says Roger Dow, CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, which conducted the economic study with research firm Oxford Economics USA. More
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Obama Family to Lead by Example, Will Vacation
on Gulf Coast in August

from AOL News
Over the weekend of Aug. 14, President Obama and his family will vacation in a symbolic spot: Florida's Gulf Coast. Obama has frequently encouraged Americans to head to Gulf Coast beaches that have remained open during the BP oil spill, the Associated Press reported. Now, it appears he will be leading by example. More
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Locke: More Ads Needed to Boost Coast Tourism
from the Miami Herald
The Gulf Coast tourism business needs more advertising money from BP PLC to bring back visitors staying away because of the oil spill, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said Monday. Tourism recovery will "take a lot of time, a lot of work and a lot of money," and BP should be pressed to provide the money, Locke told the U.S. Tourism and Travel Advisory Board in New Orleans. The oil company has given $25 million to Florida and $15 million each to Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama for tourism promotion, but that money has run out. More
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Obama Goes Green, Travel Industry Cries Foul
from Peter Greenberg Worldwide
An effort by the Obama Administration to go green may cause the U.S. travel industry to lose green, said the U.S. Travel Association last week. Calling a White House plan “short-sighted and counterproductive,” the U.S. Travel Association protested against an effort by the Obama Administration to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by cutting business travel by government employees. More
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Florida Communities Get Creative to Lure
Back Tourists Scared by Oil Spill

from the Washington Post
Ten minutes is usually all it takes for Susan Estler to find an inviting beach scene, snap it with her iPhone camera, and blast it to roadside digital billboards from Baltimore to Atlanta. Those snapshots of emerald green waters and white sugary sand are displayed with messages such as "Our Coast is Clear," serving as a giant-size "Wish you were here" for those caught in traffic or cruising long stretches of highway. Panama City Beach's digital campaign is just one example of how Panhandle communities are deploying new strategies to lure back tourists who have steered away from the Gulf Coast. More
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Think Air Travel Used to be Better? Think Again
from the Houston Chronicle
Continental Airlines' second-quarter profit came with signs that demand for air travel picked up a little bit in the second quarter. You know what that means - more people flying means more profit for the airline, more cramped planes for travelers. Such is the tradeoff of modern air travel in which carriers compete on price rather than service. It used to be better, didn't it? Back in the good ol' days of regulation? Not really. More
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The Humble Bus Takes Off
from The New York Times
High-speed rail may be getting lots of attention — and money — from the Obama administration, but it turns out the transportation success story of the last few years is the bus. At a time when flights have been cut and ridership on trains has been relatively flat, traveling by bus has been on the rise. Last year, bus service increased 5 percent, and it rose nearly 10 percent in 2008, according to Joseph Schwieterman, a DePaul University professor who has studied the decline and comeback of bus travel. More
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Visitors Centers Closed
from the Chicago Tribune
It's getting harder for both residents and visitors to enjoy Illinois' many attractions, even though the state Office of Tourism's Web site is enjoyillinois.com. With no advance notice to the public, the 15 Tourist Information Centers scattered across the state at strategic locations, mostly along interstate highways, closed July 1. More
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