Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

5 tourist spots in turmoil

They were once hot vacation spots that are now global hotpsots. But don't let the headlines fool you - you can still visit them and be safe.

1 of 5
BACKNEXT
Florida
Florida
The situation: A gigantic oil plume is leaking from BP's underwater well in the Gulf of Mexico and fouling everything in its path, including the beaches along Florida's Panhandle, where tar balls have washed ashore. The leak has spread since an oil rig explosion on April 20.

Financial hit: Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida's Institute for Economic Competitiveness, estimates the state could lose anywhere from $2.2 billion to $10.9 billion in tourism spending, causing the loss of 39,000 to 195,000 jobs.

The response: Visit Florida, the state's tourism marketing arm, has live Web cams positioned along beaches and Twitter feeds from thousands of residents providing updates on the oil spill impact. Many hotels are also bending cancellation policies. Lonely Planet editor Robert Reid suggests that tourists seek out hotels allowing them to cancel without penalty if oil washes ashore.

The reality: Chris Thompson, chief executive of Visit Florida, notes that Florida has 825 miles of beaches and "a certain small portion of that is being affected at the extreme western portion of the Panhandle." So there's still plenty of clean beach to go around.


NEXT: Jamaica
Last updated June 18 2010: 12:14 PM ET
More Galleries
Top luxurious hotel suites for business travelers For many people, you can't put a price on comfort. More
Million-dollar startups: These firms scored big sales their first year Their first year in business, these companies generated $1 million in sales. More
The 10 best states for retirees It might be worth moving to a new place to find your dream retirement home. Check out these 10 states. More

Special Offer