Sunday, July 04, 2010

Gulf Coast Hotels Buoyed By Oil-Spill Workers

[Biloxi, Miss., Sun-Herald]

On the face of it, hotel occupancy and revenues aren't too bad -- so far -- as the summer season gains traction in the tourist hotels along the northern Gulf of Mexico. But a lot of the occupancy reported by hotels is by workers hired for Gulf-disaster cleanup and response work.

You can't sustain a beach-destination and resort industry with temporary emergency workers occupying the rooms, of course. But they do generate money.

Here's a report by Smith Travel Research, the leading hotel research firm.

Here's a smart story today in the Pensacola (Fla.) News-Journal, which has been doing an excellent job covering this intensely local story. It quotes an official from the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, which also has performed admirably in this awful time, saying that 75 percent of reservations might be canceled this month.

When this awful crisis has abated, at least to the point where tourism returns, I hope travel writers will remember how honest and up-front local organizations like the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce were in this catastrophe.

The photo, above, is by the Biloxi, Miss. Sun-Herald, accompanying this story.


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