The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon on April 20, 2010 caused extensive damage to the Gulf Coast’s tourism industry. The number of visitors and the amount of dollars spent over that summer was the lowest on record. That was to be expected, but what wasn’t expected was the in 2011. The Gulf Coast saw record numbers of visitors that shattered any year on record, of course including the years before 2010.
British Petroleum (BP) spent $20 billion on cleaning up beaches alone, and now hoteliers and service industry leaders remark how visitors don’t mention the oil spill anymore. BP also gave a total of $150 million to Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi for tourism promotion after the spill. In turn, those states utilized that money to perform extravagant promotions that would’ve been impossible with their previous budgets. In Florida, $80,000 was spent in Santa Rosa County on a sand-sculpture festival. . Okaloosa County had its best-ever June, July and September. In many counties, tourism is up as much as 20 percent over last year. Panama City Beach spent $1 million on a Christmas lights display and almost $200,000 on a prom for senior citizens.
The Panama City Beach area lost a lot during the summer of 2010. They opened a new airport, the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, in May 2010, just a month after the Deepwater Horizon explosion. The lack of incoming tourism that year meant the PCB area was off to a slow start, but apparently 2011 more than made up for it.
On September 14th 2011, the Coast Guard Joint Investigation Team released its final report on the Deepwater Horizon disaster. They found BP, Halliburton, and Transocean all at fault. Despite the horrendous loss of life, it’s good to see the region bounce back and quickly.
BP continues to receive complaints at their online complaint center.
Here at Transfer Smart we are always advising people not to buy timeshares as emergencies such as this one can derail your vacation. While the Gulf Coast saw a record year in 2011, that was a lot of new visitors. Tourists who owned timeshares in the Gulf Coast regions immediately regretted owning timeshares there, and 2010 was a complete waste of money for them. If you need to get out of a timeshare, contact us at Transfer Smart so we can give you the financial freedom you deserve.