The U.S. Travel Association reports it is working closely with member organizations in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi to monitor the situation involving the oil spill in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The association said it was concerned with the economic effects of the crisis on travel and tourism.
In a statement, U.S. Travel said that there were more than 1 million residents directly employed as a result of the $94 billion spent annually on travel and tourism in the four states.
“We encourage policymakers at the federal, state and local levels to rely on sound information provided by environmental and health experts to ensure the most responsible decision-making as the situation evolves,” the statement says. “It is important to understand state of emergency declarations are not the result of any assessment of the danger posed to the public, but rather a procedural step enabling greater resources to be used as needed. It continues to be safe to travel to all states bordering the Gulf. It is vital that we take this opportunity to communicate to policymakers, health officials, opinion leaders and the media about the critical role travel plays in our economy to ensure appropriate responses as new information becomes available.”