To help offset a backlash against tourism to the beaches of Florida, BP has given $25 million to Florida to help market the state and promote that the beaches (for now) are still ok. BP also gave Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana $15 million to help with their Gulf tourism efforts.
“The Gulf Coast is our home too. We are doing everything we can to plug the leak, contain the spill offshore and protect the shoreline. With the deployment of the riser insertion tool yesterday, we made important progress in containing the spill, and that will further strengthen our ability to keep oil off the shore,” said Tony Hayward, BP’s Group Chief Executive. “We understand the Governors’ concerns for the impact on the tourism industry, and are making funds available so that they can support the industry’s efforts to provide accurate information about the state of the beaches across the region.”
These grants are in addition to the $25 million grants BP announced May 5 to help each of the four states accelerate the implementation of Area Contingency Plans. The grants announced today are for the Governors to distribute as they see fit to promote tourism.
“I am grateful to Tony Hayward, CEO of BP, for answering our call for help and delivering the good news that BP will provide Florida
an additional $25 million for a national tourism advertising campaign. These funds are in addition to the $25 million we have already received, and I commend BP for their commitment to protect our beaches, businesses and communities affected by the Gulf oil spill,” said Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. “As one of the world’s favorite travel destinations, we will use every marketing resource available to spread the word that Florida’s beaches are clean, our fish are biting, and the Sunshine State is open for business.”
The grants BP has made to the four states do not affect BP’s response to the Deepwater Horizon incident or existing claims process, but are supplemental to them, say BP officials.