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Promoting Florida #1:Miami is not close to Pensacola!

June 22, 2010

Unless your head has been buried in the sand or you’ve been away from all points of media over the past 60 plus days, you will know about the crisis currently playing out in the Gulf of Mexico. As news continues to roll out on a daily if not hourly basis, about the Deep Water Horizon crisis the number of google searches matching the word “oil” to Miami — grows.

Last week I signed up as a volunteer to help clean up my local beaches pre and post oil. I don’t consider myself as an environmentalist I volunteered because I have time — abundant — and a voice through this blog if needed.

Last Thursday a call came out via email from the CEO of Deepwater Horizon Response asking for help. This help had nothing to do with beach or wildlife clean up, because right now there isn’t oil to clean up.What was asked was a call to arms in boosting Florida’s tourism. With the arrival of tar balls on the beaches of Pensacola the number of holiday cancellations have escalated mostly based on the assumption that the beaches in Florida are polluted. Media misconceptions have taken their toll on local businesses and it’s only June.

by Cate

The reality…

  • Oil washing up on beaches is not a 2010 phenomenon, nor is an oil spill.The media is there to hype and create emotional frenzy.
  • Florida is still a sunny state filled with orange groves, manatees and some of the worst tasting coffee I’ve experienced. If anything, now is the perfect time to come.
  • Florida is not one beach.
  • Miami is not located in the Panhandle but on the Peninsula some 862 kilometres, 536 miles, 465 nautical miles south. Palm Beach is on the Atlantic coast further away. The sands are still bleached, the waters are still clean as they have been for years.
  • No ocean water is 100% clean: fish poop, boats discharge nasties, and plastic bottles thrive for eons.
  • Fear breeds fear and nothing more.
  • If you wait for the all clear to happen, you will be waiting and waiting and waiting….
  • Prices for hotels and airfares are lower than last year.

by Cate

Another reality

  • Cancellations mean less crowds, more parking spaces, no wait times in restaurants and happy locals.
  • Be that supporter you always wanted to be, keep the local businesses in business.
  • Come and sit on one of Florida’s beach and watch the sunset. Do it the next day and the next… you get the picture.

by Cate

Sure, Florida may be flat but its beaches, lakes, rivers, fishing, theme parks, sports, nightlife, arts, foods, Everglades all make up for its lack of altitude. So much to see, so much to do.

Caffeinated Traveller

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20 Comments
  1. travelforaircraft permalink
    June 22, 2010 6:45 pm

    An on target message. So far the damage is in Louisiana and a bit of Florida near the Alabama border and only tar balls so far.

    For the oil to get further south we will have to see if it gets into the Loop Current and then out of it again.

    You make a good point … crowds have diminished but the beaches are still in great shape … it is an opportunity now.

    • June 23, 2010 5:13 pm

      Cheers JOe, I think it is important to let people know what the media neglects to say. Now is the perfect time as we both know.

  2. June 22, 2010 7:05 pm

    You post may help to clear some misconception about he beaches at Florida.

    Sometimes too much “heard say” will certainly distorted the actual fact.

    • June 23, 2010 5:14 pm

      Correct, too much of the same thing can distort reality and I think what the locals don’t need at the moment is an increase in negative exposure. Are you planning on having a holiday here soon Rainfield??

  3. June 23, 2010 8:16 am

    Good post, Cate. Glad you’re clearing up misconceptions. You have a strong voice.

    • June 23, 2010 5:16 pm

      Thank you! It’s good to hear that my voice has strength.

  4. June 23, 2010 4:41 pm

    I hope people will continue to visit Florida, as well as the areas that ARE affected by the oil spill. These places need our tourist dollars now more than ever.

    • June 23, 2010 5:17 pm

      Asolutely!! They need all the dollars we can spare. They don’t need empty seats, beds and bad press.

  5. Catherine permalink
    June 23, 2010 6:21 pm

    a very timely post correcting misguided percaptions – we know all about that here in Mexico which is still suffering from Swine flu and Drug war perceptions…after Florida come to Mexico…

    • June 24, 2010 3:50 pm

      Yes the Swine flu, sounds years ago but it wasn’t that long when the media put that one high on the fearmongering list. I would LOVE to come to Mexico (and was invited recently) will be there sometime soon I hope.

  6. June 24, 2010 7:32 am

    This is nice post.It’s seems like very beautifully.I enjoy it.

  7. June 24, 2010 9:03 am

    It’s a shame that tourism and people whose livelihoods depend on it is hurting even in areas relatively unaffected by the oil spill. Good on you for doing your part to dispel the misconceptions.

    The thing that worries me most about this oil spill is that it’s getting up into the wetlands, which are a breeding ground for an abundance of wildlife and a migratory stopping point for many birds. It’s so sad – and unbelievable that BP is pushing ahead with deep drilling in Alaska! http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/24/us/24rig.html?hp

    It’s true that no sea water is 100% clean. I don’t count fish poo because it’s part of the natural order but discharge from boats is a big problem, as are plastic bottles. Having said that, the waters around your native New Zealand and southern Australia are pretty clean!

    I’m interested to know why you don’t consider yourself an environmentalist?

    • June 24, 2010 3:55 pm

      BP like everyother oil company is built on demand and unfortunately we all use some form of petroleum even when tweeting and blogging. Business is business which drives the world – or so we are led to believe. NZ and OZ are pretty clean but aren’t they exploring for oil around both these regions? I know they (whoever they are) have been doing some work off NZ’s coast.

      I’m not dedicated enough to label myself as an environmentalist. I like to be informed and have a say, but I would prefer to make change from within the abyss ie: policy. If I had to compare myself to what you do Caitlin, I’m pathetic.

  8. June 24, 2010 9:52 am

    I had similar misconceptions about the Texas half of the gulf, which we had considered for a vacation this year.

    Sorry to hear that Pensacola was hit thought….Pensecola is such a neat little town.

    • June 24, 2010 3:57 pm

      Even Texas fell under the blanket, never knew that. Yes ashame about Pensacola, haven’t made it there yet, but a spot of oil or two isn’t going to stop me from going there.
      Thanks Gale.

  9. June 24, 2010 2:08 pm

    You have some good, compelling reasons to visit Florida. I guess all of this negative media about the spill could really benefit someone looking for a less hectic vacation spot. Thanks for setting the record straight that Florida is still a great destination.

    • June 29, 2010 2:11 pm

      Thank you! And you’re right it is a great place to visit.

  10. June 28, 2010 4:42 pm

    Not only is the Florida economy in trouble, but the Louisiana economy as well. Even after the overturned moratorium on offshore drilling, thousands of people in Louisiana have been left without jobs. The fishing industry has been crippled as well. Louisiana, with its great food, colorful people and history, is a great place to visit. Come visit us, ya’ll.

    • June 29, 2010 2:12 pm

      Hi Monica, I would love to come and visit honestly it is on the travel cards this year, regardless of what has happened. I’m all about food and hot food can’t wait to visit. Thanks for you comment.

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