While BP might have found a solution to the oil spill in the Gulf Coast, the local tourism bureaus are in desperate need of more funding to promote travel to the region according to U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.
On Monday Locke commented on the dollars needed to bring back tourism to the Gulf when he said it will "take a lot of time, a lot of work and a lot of money." He added that the pressure should be on BP to fork over more money as soon as possible.
Since the oil spill, BP has provided Florida with $25 million and Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi with $15 million each.
But all of the money has been spent already on tourism ads. Although oil only washed ashore a tiny portion of the coastal cities on the Gulf, the negative media attention has hurt travel throughout each state.
What’s more, since this happen during the summer season, there is no way to make up for the lost revenue.
The U.S. Travel Associations feels BP needs to provide $500 million for a marketing program as well as a website set up that provides detailed information for travelers ensuring them the particular city they are visiting is safe.
Locke is counting on the state and local tourism bureaus to conjure up a longer campaign and provide a figure. Locke added, "It's obviously not a one-shot deal and one that needs to be reinforced for at least a couple of years.”