Fears of Oil Soaked Beaches Drive Vacationers Away

"Once it became clear that early oil spill containment efforts had failed, the tourism industry in Florida was immediately affected," one of the suits filed in federal court reads. "Businesses along the Florida panhandle and down the Florida west coast that cater to tourists began to experience an unusually high rate of cancelations of reservation bookings. Despite the fact that no oil had actually washed up on a Florida beach, the news reports were ominous and tourists, particularly those from out of state, were simply unwilling to take any chances that their vacation might be adversely impacted by the oil spill."

Ricardo Martinez-Cid, a partner in the firm, said that hotels are suffering as a result of the public's fear and uncertainty.

"A number of my clients are actually getting phone calls to see if they will be able to fish tomorrow or if the oil will be too thick," he said. "There will be a long-term effect on the Keys and other impacted regions for decades to come."

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