The west coast of Florida and the Florida Panhandle have seen a 15 to 70 percent decline in summer tourism this year. However, hotels, motels, and entertainment venues along Florida’s east coast report that there is no oil on their beaches.
While tourists initially seem reluctant to travel to any Florida destination, things are looking up. The recent July 4th weekend vacation brought a large number of destinations to Florida’s east coast. Thousands of people enjoyed the beautiful beaches along the east coast from South Florida to St. Augustine and Jacksonville.
St. Augustine, Florida is a small town that typically experiences massive crowds for the 4th of July festivities. This year was not the exeption. “As usual, we sat and watched the hordes of cars leaving St. Augustine after the fireworks show,” said Charles Williams, manager of the local hostel. “The town was full of tourists who were having a great time.”
Saint Augustine is located in the northeast corner of the state and is situated in an area where the Gulf Stream is about 40 miles from the coast as it turns with the curvature of the earth, heading north. While news reports claim that the oil spill could eventually make its way up Florida’s east coast, it appears that this curvature may protect St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach from seeing oil on its beach.
The reality is that this oil spill is an environmental disaster of epic proportions. No one knows where the oil will end or end. By now, the people, the hotel, the motel, the shop owners, and the entrepreneurs of St. Augustine, Florida, want everyone to know that their city and its beaches are oil-free.