Tourists Head To Beaches Despite Gulf Oil Spill

Tourists along the Gulf coast are enjoying the beaches despite the nation's worst oil spill.

Tourism officials from Mississippi to Florida have fought the perception that oil has come ashore, and hotels have offered lower rates and other incentives to vacationers.

Though some tar balls have been found on Mississippi and Alabama barrier islands, oil from the spill has not significantly fouled the shores.

On Biloxi beach, Paul Dawa and a friend drove from Tennessee to see for themselves whether the oil had hit the white sands.

The men were chased off the beach by a summer storm, not oil.

Linda Hornsby of the Mississippi Hotel and Lodging Association, says the perception threatens to cripple the tourist economy.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by Audra Location: SoCal on May 31, 2010 at 08:34 PM
    I hope the beaches there do stay relatively clean. I remember vividly from my childhood the tar on the beaches in Redondo... it was routine that you would end up stepping on some when the sandals came off, and you'd have to scrape it & head for the tub when you got home later. It was next to impossible to remove and left a stain for a couple of days. I haven't seen that here in many years, thankfully. I'm completely saddened by the mess this incident has left for so much of the coast there. I really believe that so much more could & should have been done differently.

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