-- The State of Florida will try to ease the worries of
hurricane-wary tourists by launching promotions of the destination.
Visit Florida, the
public/private corporation that promotes travel to the state, will
use special appropriations to finance the campaign.
According to a
spokesman, the advertising will not mention the hurricanes. Well
just emphasize the aspects that continue to make Florida a
desirable destination, he said.
Visit Florida will
tap into a $2 million economic-risk fund and will ask the
legislation for an additional $30 million.
We have an
emergency advertising fund that is always sacrosanct. We only use
it when we absolutely have to, said the spokesman. We started
tapping into it with Hurricane Charley, and we are going to go
ahead and use the rest of it starting now because there are no
other storms on the horizon.
The fund will
extend into December, or as long as it lasts. Visit Floridas board
planned to meet with Gov. Jeb Bush Oct. 4 to ask that he recommend
that the legislature appropriate approximately $30 million as
We want to reassure
potential visitors that not all of Florida was impacted, or
impacted equally, although we sure have taken a hit, the spokesman
said. Were also going to provide a central point of contact for
people who have a specific destination they want to find out
The full economic
impact of the four storms cannot yet be determined, he
We have a number of
research initiatives underway to help us get that information, he
said. We wont know how much tourism revenue Florida is losing per
day or per week until the state Department of Revenue provides us
with the numbers of tourism spending for August and
numbers, the agency must base its judgments on anecdotal
Going back to Labor
Day, most of the hotels expected to be half full, but many of them
ended up being packed with folks who had been forced to move out of
the evacuation zones.
reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].