Once vilified, BP now getting credit for Gulf tourism boom
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. - Tourism hasn't only recovered on the Gulf Coast five years after the BP oil spill - industry officials say it's surging. And they credit fallout from the environmental disaster as being part of the reason why.
BP spent more than $230 million promoting tourism after the 2010 spill, and the company aired national commercials promoting the region for years.
Tourism officials say that publicity blitz boosted tourism to new levels even as questions remain about the spill's long-term environmental impact. Tourist spending has doubled in some areas since before the spill.
Tourism is up nationwide, and it's tough to determine exactly how much of the increase is linked to the BP promotions.
But residents say fears of a tourism collapse after the spill are now just a memory.