Gulf Coast tourism continued to demonstrate strong visitor numbers across the affected states in 2012
From 2010, BP has supported Gulf Coast tourism by committing $179 million through to 2013 to Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi for regional and national tourism campaigns. Each state has independently developed tourism campaigns aimed at attracting visitors to the Gulf Coast. By the end of 2012, tourism organizations had received more than $173 million. Tourism groups are using the BP funds in part to expand their marketing efforts to reach potential visitors.
In addition, $57 million is being given to non-profit groups and government entities across the Gulf Coast to promote the tourism and seafood industries. This is part of the settlement agreement reached between BP and the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee. At the end of 2012, approximately $44 million had been awarded to the organizations.
Although opinions differ on the stage of Gulf recovery, many are sharing positive tourism reports across the region.
Director, Alabama Tourism Department
"The tourism industry is doing extremely well this year. All over the state and particularly here in the Gulf Coast, the people who are coming to the state are coming in larger numbers. They're staying longer. They're spending more money. So that's a very good, healthy thing."
Preliminary data from NOAA indicates that recreational fishing, which is an important source of tourism and a significant contributor to the Gulf economy, continued to recover in 2012, following a strong year in 2011.
According to preliminary data from NOAA, recreational fishing landings (fish that are brought to shore) in the Gulf of Mexico in the first 10 months of 2012 were 7.7% higher than the average over the same period in 2007-2009. For the top three species – spotted sea trout, red drum and red snapper – the data indicated that recreational harvest during the first 10 months of 2012 was 5.8% higher than the average over the same period in 2007-2009.
The information on this page forms part of the information reviewed and reported on by Ernst & Young as part of BP's 2012 sustainability reporting.