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.