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June 16th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

In light of the oil spill, would you vacation on the Gulf Coast?

ALT TEXT

Pres. Obama, Mayor George Schloegel (L) and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) enjoy snowballs after a roundtable discussion with local residents in Gulfport. Obama has implored Americans to visit southern Gulf coast beaches, as the tourism industry fears a hammering over the BP oil disaster. (PHOTO CREDIT: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The best way to help the people of the Gulf Coast is to go down there and visit - that was the message from President Obama as he toured the region earlier this week.

And Mr. Obama did his best to boost the tourism industry, struggling from the spreading oil slick. While visiting with local officials - he strolled the beaches, lunched on local crab cakes and shrimp... and downed a snow cone (down there, they're called "snowballs") in the 95 degree heat.

The president said one Gulfport, Mississippi hotel owner told him that business was down 40 percent due to the oil spill.

The effect of the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history on tourism is a nightmare scenario for small business owners all along the coast... we're talking tens of billions of dollars in lost revenue.

Analysts at Citigroup suggest that the loss of tourism and fishing revenues in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi alone could translate to claims of more than $10 billion.

Meanwhile it's estimated Florida could lose a third of its tourism industry... which would mean another $12 billion in lost revenue. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of people who could lose their jobs.

As the monstrous oil spill continues to spread, it's devastating huge swaths of coastline and marshland - killing an untold number of wildlife... not to mention the economic impact of jobs lost because of the moratorium on offshore oil drilling in the Gulf.

Here’s my question to you: In light of the oil spill, would you vacation on the Gulf Coast?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Todd in Toronto writes:
Gee, Jack. That's a tough call. Would I choose to spend my vacation time with some of the best people on the planet, visiting one of the most beautiful parts of the world and taking in some great culture, all while helping out a region and population that are struggling through no fault of their own? Tough work, but somebody's got to do it. Sign me up.

Nick in College Station, Texas writes:
I plan on going to Gulf Shores in July. There is no way I would change this. As my summer vacation, I enjoy the town, the activities and the people much more than I do the beach. I plan to continue these trips as I have for the past 10 years, especially now, as their economy depends on my business. It's the American thing to do!

Justin writes:
I have many fond memories of the Gulf Coast, and would like nothing more than for my children to experience the same. However, I could not in good conscience subject them to the hazards of an oil spill. So no, I would not go down to the Gulf at this time.

Linka in Austin, Texas writes:
U.S. Gulf Coast runs from Padre Island, Texas to Key West, Florida. I have a beach house at Panama City Beach. Sand/water are perfect, as is the majority of the Gulf Coast. The press has destroyed tourism by not being specific! A catastrophe has not hit the entire Gulf shoreline. They should apologize over and over, and narrow the description of damaged area already harmed by the spill.

Ray in Baltimore writes:
I just did. Got back from four days in Orange Beach, Alabama on Sunday. Unfortunately the beaches were oiled and smelled like a freshly paved road. If you've already got a trip planned there, follow through. The people down there need it.

Sara writes:
We have vacationed in the Perdido Key area for 20 years. We began going there when I was 12 and I am 33 this year… Vacationing in the Gulf Coast region is part of our lives. However, I am 6 months pregnant and there is currently an advisory issued for no swimming in the Gulf and advising pregnant women and children to avoid the area. We have canceled our vacation to the area for this year.

Dan writes:
I already booked my tickets for an August bachelor party in New Orleans. Come hell, high water or oily water, I am Gulf-bound.

Monte in Spain writes:
I wish I could go for a visit tomorrow. Anybody who can, should. Those in the Gulf deserve our full support and anything else we could possibly do for them.

George in North Carolina writes:
No way. Too many politicians.


Filed under: BP oil spill • Gulf oil spill • Oil spill • Vacation
soundoff (193 Responses)
  1. Rhonda in Iowa

    Since money is so tight, I would not spend our vacation dollars on a trip that may end up costing my family in medical bills due to the oil.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  2. Bill Smith

    I would and likely will vacation on the Gulf Coast.

    Very little of the coast has been affected by the spill, but much of it has been affected by public perception.

    They need our help and the beauty of the region can't be beat.

    Bill
    Bradenton, Florida

    June 16, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  3. Jennifer

    I'm originally from Pensacola, FL, and though I live in DC now, I want to visit more than ever to support the region. There is so much to enjoy in these towns (talk about some great food!) and many of the beaches are still in pristine condition. Even as the oil spreads, families should continue to travel there because 1) you'll probably find a great vacation deal, and 2) you can teach your kids about corporate responsibility firsthand!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  4. Tony...Ky.

    Sure I would Jack.....as soon as Mr. Obama and his wife and kids jump in the oil filled Gulf waters to show everyone how pleasant it is there! Oh yeah, and make sure they all have on white bathing suits too, to prove to everyone how wonderful it is. Then they can play in the sand after getting out of the water. He can take the CEO of BP and his family too. Then they all enjoy an exellent vacation in the crystal clear Gulf waters and beaches.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  5. Michelle in Tallahassee

    I live here and right now the beaches are fine. Come on down!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  6. Brian Smith PhD San Diego CA

    Heck yea! The Gulf is worth $20 billion. Every thimble-rigging crook is headed there right now.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  7. Michelle Kelly

    I will 100% continue to vacation on the Gulf Coast despite the oil spill. I love Destin, Fla., and the entire Emerald Coast, and the tourism industry needs our support more now than ever. The beaches are some of the best in the world, and so are the people – keeping our vacation plans all along the Gulf Coast this summer is the best thing we can do!

    Michelle Kelly
    Tallahassee, Fla.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  8. Norm Bohnenstiehl

    My wife and I will be in Fort Walton Beach/Destin from June 21-28.
    We have vacationed there for over 30 years with first just us and then our sons and a growing list of family members. What started as a trip for 2 eventually turned into a group of 16.
    We went a couple years ago when a hurricane had just gone through a week before and there were gas shortages. We will go to the beach and help in whatever way we can if needed.
    It's our small way to help support the area our family has developed life time memories from our time spent there each summer!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  9. Bob

    Jack,

    Absolutely, The Gulf Coast is a wonderful place to vacation with many options for different activities.

    When you get right down to it, most people who vacation have a hotel with a pool and they do their primary relaxing there with the kids. Yes, they go on the beach, to lie and bake their skin, or the kids build sandcastles and even that is available in most places.

    We americans should be supportive in that economic way, not shy away.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  10. Steve

    I have never been to that part of our country and do not plan on going anytime soon now. Because of the this fiasco. As if our econmy wasn't already bad enough

    I would of like to vist New Orleans but BP has put a end to that trip

    I just hope people beside myself rufuse to every use thier gas stations again
    .
    I haven't been to a Exxon since the Valdeze.

    It seem that is the only way to fight back.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  11. Tanner Gregory

    No. it probably would suck.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  12. LKJ

    I'm glad my sons have seen the Gulf of Mexico as it was, as it's supposed to be. I don't expect this area to recover, ecologically, in my lifetime.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  13. Holly Digman from Cuba City WI

    If I were intending on a vacation to the west coast, I would still go just to help with the economy there due to the oil spill. It's a terrible thing and going there for a vacation would be two-fold; getting away and doing something for others...helping our country out.

    If you paid me a billion dollars I would not want President Obama's job! The things that this man has had to deal with since he has taken office is crazy! He's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't! You can't please all the people all the time! It's impossible. I like to think that he's doing the best he can. But nobody is going to give him any slack on any issue especially the Republican party!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  14. Katrina

    Yes. There is more to do on the Gulf coast than swim and eat seafood.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  15. Paula in WI

    No but not because of the spill.It's sad that these republican states are using this catastrophy to political advantage.They don't want the government to help yet here they are asking for it and then crying about the moratorium that would provide a safety standard for them.Also they know every year the hurricanes will come so why are they not prepared.Seems like they could have used the stimulous cash they said they did not need for that.Also they have National guard at ready disposal and are not using them.The parish presidents can't be working on the issues much because they are on every channel and every hour giving their own photo ops.I'm sorry for all of us Americans that we can no longer do anything in this country without politics involved.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  16. Karen, Louisiana

    Yes, Jack, I would go. I'd like to go on vacation anywhere!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  17. Cory

    Absolutely. Taking a vacation in Santa Rosa Beach in 2 weeks. Maybe the media should stop reporting about everything the President is not doing, and start showing the footage of all the beaches that are open. People will only return when it is reinforced through images of just how much open beach there really is.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  18. Brian

    Probably not, but the economy is so bad and I have been jobless for the majority of the past two years so I can't afford a vacation anyway. I believe the oil spill, as tragic as it is, have become a political football. A distraction to further avoid tackling many of the issues affecting John and Mary Public every day, such as the economy and jobs. I'd like to see it get cleaned up and out of the news so we can move on to other things.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  19. Luke Weese

    I will not vacation in oil damaged areas. My fiance and I will get married July 3rd and then visit the Riviera Maya area South of Cancun by Playa del Carmen. It shouldn't be affected unless a surprise hurricane changes the currents.

    Asking people to vacation on oil soaked beaches is the same as asking them to pay the same price for an inferior product. That is not how a global free-market economy works. Consumers (vacationers) should and will find the best product (destination) for their money. My fiance deserves a beautiful honeymoon, so why would I take her to an oil spill? God bless him, but Obama's guilt trip is misplaced on American citizens.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  20. Drew

    Austin, TX

    I made vacation plans and purchased airline tickets in April for my wife and I to visit Ft. Walton Beach July 21-25. I started to look elsewhere last week, but we decided to stick with our original plans. Ft. Walton seems like a beautiful place and as of today the beaches are clean. Whether the beaches are clean in late July is uncertain but if not we'll enjoy the hotel pool and spend our tourist dollars eating and drinking ourselves silly in the town's independenly owned restaurants and bars.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  21. Stan

    My wife and I are going our beloved Destin no matter what. If the beach is closed, I'll go down to the beach in my shorts and tank top and offer to help clean it up.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  22. Erik

    Absolutely... there's plenty more to see in Florida and the Gulf states than just the beach.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  23. Bob Peranich

    Yes, I would and I am. I am vacationing next week in Pensacola, FL and later in the week in Gulfport, MS. These are two beautiful Gulf Coast cities. They offer so much to do and see.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  24. Jeremy D from Michigan

    If I had any money then I might choose the gulf. It would be a good idea to support fellow American's in need. But like I hinted to already, I'm unemployed Jack – so no.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  25. LP

    vacation there? I'm MOVING there! I am moving from Seattle to New Orleans and have the usual apprehensions about moving...the oil spill is not among them

    June 16, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  26. Brandy schoolcraft

    If we had the Money to go we will be on our way!! Our Family LOVES the Gulf!!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  27. Covenant

    Not until they confirm there is no environmental hazards. Typical government dance. Whatever kills wildlife kills people.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  28. John Gay

    I absolutely intend to visit the beaches and try to help offset the costs and suffering.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  29. David Sisters

    In a New Orleans minute

    June 16, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  30. zack

    I am currently unemployed so I am not in a situation where I could afford a Gulf vacation. However, if I were employed and had some vacation time available, I would definitrely make it a point to go on a vacation in the Gulf, just to help those folks out.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  31. one

    I would NOT go at this time or in the near future. I just got back from a 10 day visit to Destin and it took place the week before Memorial Day and the whole Memorial Day weekend. The oil was NOT there. In fact we went out 27 miles deep sea fishing and it wasn't even out there, just a bunch of hungry dolphins that ate our catch on the way up. It's out there NOW, close in fact. I'm afraid some of the municipalities are not being entirely honest at this point in telling people to come down. It's out there, close,and with the right (actually wrong) wind it will be on the beach quickly. We know lots of people there and they are indeed scared. Letting this stuff hit the beach because "it will be easier to clean up" is the dumbest thing i've heard in 60 years!! Sea life begins where the water meets the sand. Jack, we ALL KNOW it's BP's fault, let them concentrate on the leak. But why in God's name aren't there 10,000 boats out there getting that stuff up BEFORE it gets close to the beach? Where is the governments response to the CLEAN UP? This is the most terrible response by government I have ever seen.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  32. Josh

    I would absolutley go with my kids and make it an educational experience for them...

    June 16, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  33. Ronnie Brandt

    Unfortunatly, No. I love the gulf coast and the florida keys, we vation there every year for the past 15 years. if the spill comes to shore, it's game over for the florida keys and the wonderful allure and beauty of the gulf coast.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  34. Kevin LaBranche

    In order to vacation in the Gulf Coast you need money. With so many Americans out of work, the drop in business that the business owners are seeing along the coast is not all to blame on the oil. People just dont have the extra money to vacation far from home.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  35. Kevin

    Given that the cleanup crews are falling sick, the general unknown of the dispersant they are using to remove the oil from view (just causes it to sink & kill more fish), and the likelihood of my kids searching out tar to take home, rather than avoid it, I would say no.
    BP should be responsible for lost revenue for these areas, not just the cleanup.

    Having said that, I would certainly donate to the relief agencies to help these folks get by until they can get paid by BP.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  36. Mahesh P

    I sure would not just to help the local business owners but also to be able to feel the effect first hand and see the disaster so I know how the area bounces back. I also hope that americans learn from this disaster and try to reduce their energy consumption.

    New Mexico

    June 16, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  37. Bruce

    Yes, but there are in fact very high deadly methane concentrations near the oil, so if oil was near, I'd have to pass.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  38. Ron Myers

    I am attending a Marine Corps reunion in August in Pensacola Beach. I'll be there come hell or high water.
    Semper Fi

    June 16, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  39. Delia, Katy, TX

    If I had money to vacation, I would go. However, I definitely wouldn't go in the water. The reports of the beaches being safe can't really be trusted, especially if they're merely going by sight (no tar balls). What about the benzyne? In other words, eeeeeewwwww!!! The commercials they're showing now should show Haley Barbour's and Jindahl's kids or grandkids in the water if they want to claim it's safe!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  40. TD

    Absolutely I would go to the coast! And while I was there, I would see if there was something direct I could do to help with beach and/or animal clean-up. No matter where we are, we are all in this together...this environment, this economic situation, this world, and need to act together.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  41. Ken in NC

    If I could spend a week there I would spend 2 of the 5 days cleaning on the beaches and looking for a place to plant Tony Hayward and that Board Chairman that called us "SMALL PEOPLE". Then I would spend the remainder of my vacation trying to help the economy in the Gulf

    June 16, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  42. Pat

    We can't this year, but maybe next year. It is the American thing to do; we should help our neighbors in our own country. Even though we are not "water" people, I'm sure there are plenty of other things to do and great weather, music, cycling, and people to enjoy.

    Pat
    Sierra Vista, AZ

    June 16, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  43. Steve

    In a heartbeat..I have always wanted to experience the Louisiana/Mississippi region, and it sounds like its time to book a week or so down there..It may help a bit,, I hope so

    Steve

    June 16, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  44. TAG

    No offense to gulf residents, but I wasn't ever planning on visiting the gulf coast. Not because its not a good place to visit; its because I have no money. Maybe the CEO of BP can pay for my flight I'll clean off some pelicans, if I get a free visit to the Big Easy.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  45. Chris

    ABSOLUTLY I will take my vacation to Panama City Beach. I leave this Sunday driving from San Antonio. And yes, in part of an act of solidarity. Part of it, is because I feel it will be a long time till I get to see it again in its pristine state. I am deeply stressed about the whole thing in general.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  46. John Armijo

    Each year my family and I rent a condo at Orange Beach, AL. This has been a family tradition since moving to The South from Los Angeles, CA back in 2002.

    This year was no different, although we did have our concerns. We arrived the first week of June and were able to enjoy the beach for about 3 days. On the third evening, oil began washing ashore.

    The rest of the trip we spent at the pool and the local water park, Waterville.

    Coming from the St Tammany Parish of Louisiana, we know what its like when a disaster hits your area, and affects your life through no fault of your own. We had a great time, and will be back next year regardless.

    Being a small business owner ourselves, we can relate to the hardships being encountered by the Gulf Coast nerchants. I really feel for them, because I now they were still recovering from Hurricane Katrinas effects.

    So, the answer is yes. We recently vacationed there and will be back. There's no way we could stay away from Lamberts 'Throwed Rolls'!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  47. Gary Miller

    What's a vacation? Have we forgotten many Americans, in the Gulf and the rest of of our increasingly third world economy can not afford to travel? Personally I believe that many members of the corporate realm are quietly breathing a sigh of relief that our collective focus has been distracted. Remember the economy?

    June 16, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  48. Richard/NH

    Yes Jack, I would still vacation in the Gulf. When dining, I would just have decide whether I wanted my lobster 10W-40 or 20W-50, depending on DP'S daily oil output.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  49. Roderick

    Yes Jack,

    Im going, the trip is paid for, and Im in. I check with my relatives in
    Mobile,Alabama, and they say Orange Beach and Gulf Shores are
    fine. If the oil arrives when I am there, I am hoping that some of the
    beaches will not be affected. So wish me a happy 4th of July.

    Roderick Powe
    Dallas,Texas

    June 16, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  50. Annie, Atlanta

    Sure. You buying?

    June 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  51. Debbie

    Jack ,

    I wished I could go to the gulf , spend a week there . Love that area . Family members are spending time at Destin and Panama city beach , they havn't seen oil , on the beach .
    This entire area really pretty .

    June 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  52. ED in RI

    Jack;
    Not a chance Jack! If the people knew what is really happenning in the Gulf; even the locals would be moving away in droves.
    The monster media, that owns and operates all the information in this country and the world, only permit certain criteria to be delivered to the populace. It's called "social engineering"; and they are very good at what they do!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  53. L Schaumburg IL

    Yes my family would, there is more to do and see in the gulf coast then just the gulf water, there is alot of beauty in these states on land.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  54. Manny

    hey jack. I feel incredibly sorry for what has happened to the Gulf residents. But find it incredibly irresponsible that the elected officials are saying that "its safe to eat the sea food" and come "vacation here" when yeah the oil might be cleaned up but no one knows the effects of the toxic dispersents that have been dumped in the Gulf in the millions of gallons. If one is smart, its wise to avoid that place at all cost. Remember when they said that it was "safe" to breath the air at ground zero. Those people unfortunately are, years later, now dead. Feel bad for the gulf residents but at the same time can you believe after all this STILL want drilling?!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  55. NJ-Joe

    Unfortunately, as a small businessman in NJ, I can’t afford ANY vacation this year (again) because of the economy. The only thing flowing in faster than oil in the gulf these days, are my bills!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  56. Eric

    Yes, I would still go.
    I already have a trip planned to Las Vegas in August with my wife and daughter. If I didn't, I believe that I would plan a gulf vacation. I am sure that there are alot of other activities such as state parks and other outdoor destinations in substitution of beach swimming. Plus, I would actually feel good about going and helping out the locals by spending money there.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  57. John Holmes In New York

    Part of the reason I would vacation in the gulf coast when it is summer is to go swimming. While the oil may not be visible the pollutants from the oil could be in the water and could cause me harm. I really do not trust the experts who say it is safe. These experts said cigarettes and cell phones do not cause cancer. We now know better. For my own safety I would pick another place in the world that does not have the oil spill even if I cannot see it. In fact it will be decades before I will get in the water in the gulf coast.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  58. Cheryl

    I vacationed in Gulfport Alabama.. and the people were awesome the beach was beautiful and the food was great!! We enjoyed it so much that we dreamed of owning a vacation home/condo there. But I have to tell you... The oil spill would be a HUGE deterrent on choosing it for a vacation. The water safety would be questionable even if it becomes safe to swim, and the seafood would be also.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  59. Bob in Florida

    Jack:

    I have been vacationing daily on the Gulf coast just north of Tampa for 11 years. I know the pollution that has built up over those ten years since the canal in my back yard is only 1/8 of a mile from the open gulf.

    This oil spill will kill many of the animals and aquatic life I have enjoyed for those 11 years.

    I feel we "as a species" have worn out our welcome on this Earth. Our puny GREED has taxed ALL other species, many to the breaking point. Humans have NO REAL VALUE on the Earth any more and I suspect one day shortly Mother Earth will demand we become extinct so the other animals may live.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  60. Virginia Correll

    It is now my #1 travel destination. I will go in late summer or early fall. I hope to put together a driving trip from Lousiana to the west coast of Florida, enjoying the great food and wonderful people all along the way.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  61. Jerry & Norma King

    We have trememdous empathy and concern for the gulf coast region. Our own neck of the woods has trememdous fiscal difficulties also. We do not have sufficient money to vacation! Why doesn't some tourism marketing genius submit the idea of discounted vacations for everyone who is in fiscal difficulties? Can we have a sludge party and help everyone out?? We would consider taking a vacation and assisting as volunteers were the opportunity presented. We cannot afford to donate lodging money as well as our time. OUR VACATION COULD BE ASSISTING THE GULF COAST REGION???

    June 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  62. Kitty

    I will vacation in Destin Florida as I have since 1984 for sure and every year we could afford it growing up. My brother and I own jointly two time shares, one in July and one in September. These were legacies from our parents and we pay $1400 per year for maintenance fees. We have to pay that no matter what. My grandparents lived in Fairhope Alabama and Mobile and I have spent many days in the gulf and the bays around there. I am sick over what is happening and the fact that I will not be able to take my granddaughter into the gulf to jump waves, or go crabbing or saning, or deep sea fishing or dolphin feeding, or swimming with the dolphins. I will go, and I will sit on the beach. We will go but I doubt I will ever be swimming or floating on a raft in the gulf in my lifetime again. I don't know how people on the gulf coast can possibly make a living there any longer.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  63. Bernie

    I' m sitting on Lido Key Beach in Sarasota! It is absolutely beautiful here! The Gulf is clear and the beaches are pristine!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  64. Cheryl

    I vacationed in Gulfport Alabama.. and the people were awesome the beach was beautiful and the food was great!! We enjoyed it so much that we dreamed of owning a vacation home/condo there. But I have to tell you... The oil spill would be a HUGE deterrent on choosing it for a vacation. The water safety would be questionable even if it becomes safe to swim, and the seafood would be also.

    Cheryl Bullock
    New York

    June 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  65. Greg H - Minneapolis

    Jack, now is the time to vacation on the Gulf Coast. There should be all sorts of deals from hotels, motels, and resorts looking to fill rooms going empty because of the fear of beaches covered in oil. And there should be few politicians around, because once the cameras are done they are long gone just like Obama. If people on the Gulf Coast have to wait for the government to give the "all clear", it will never happen as they need a disaster to cover up their lack of accomplishment anywhere else. What they underestimate is the fact that people are noticing their lack of accomplishment in the oil spill, and that will be a costly mistake for Democrats!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  66. Stephi

    No, I don't think so, but perhaps the other oil companies might like to. Where are they? Why are they just standing on the sidelines with their hands in their pockets, doing sweet nothing to help? Don't they realize this is their problem too and how much better they'd look in the world's eyes if they came forth and lent a hand? Or are they already on vacation, where the water is clear and clean?

    June 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  67. Marge from North Carolina

    Absolutely. Spent several days in N'Awlins just over a year ago and would definitely support the tourism industry again. Maybe this fall when it is a little cooler. It's 93 degrees in NC today and I feel like I'd be jumping from the frying pan into the fire if I went now. But, come fall, why not.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  68. Shawn Monroe

    Yes!! Booked a five day cruise through Key West and Cozumel, followed by a weekend on Miami Beach for vacation July 5th-12th just this morning. Sunshine, sandy beaches and blue waters here I come!!!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  69. Debi Rincon

    I live on the Gulf of Mexico; Clearwater, Fl. Think of what will happen to our property values? Homes have been hit the past few years, but now with this oil spill our properties will never sell. Values will drop and tax revenue from values dropping will be effected. Everyone will be effected.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  70. Bryan

    My family booked a vacation down in south Walton Florida in July. We are not cancelling unless the agent tells us the beaches have been closed. We want to do our part as much as we can to help the gulf coast.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  71. Judie Wm's -- El Lago TX

    ABSOLUTELY! The Gulf Coast offers much, and there remains areas not affected. Fortunately I live 30 miles from Galv., and a days drive from Pennsacola, Biloxi, and other areas along the gulf.

    I would encourage folks to come and experience the richness of these communities i.e. Louisiana........and areas mentioned.

    LIFE CAN BE A BEACH, so 'ya ll" come on down.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  72. Michele

    Sure, I'd go tomorrow or very soon – but I wouldn't book anything beyond what's already in the news. In fact, if i had a holiday scheduled, I'd cancel it now and book Hilton Head or Myrtle Beach.

    Michele
    Springdale, AR

    June 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  73. Pat

    Our family has vacationed on the Gulf Coast for decades.We are saddened by this environmental crisis. But until scientists and health experts assure the public that Gulf waters do pose a health threat, my grandchildren will be swimming in tje Atlantic this summer.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  74. Kerry Esmond

    We have vacationed on Perdido Key / Gulf Shores twice. As much as I want to help by vacationing there, my reservations for the first week in August will be cancelled, as I read on CNN just this week that oil has moved through Perdido Pass. We held out hope it would miss that area as long as we could, but both kids are in college and this is one of our last vacations. It won't be with the smell, mess, no fishing, no swimming, and no jetskiing. I believe we will be helping the good folks in Galveston recover just down the road from where I live in Houston. It's their turn to get help from Ivan as they are past the initial struggle and now can rebuild their economy. When things clear up, we will be back at Perdido Key which is a wonderful place, to help them recover. It's such a nice place, we might even retire there if they can get it cleaned up.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  75. Chaney, La.

    Jack of coarse, not all beaches are affected and the best way to help is to support the Gulf Coast businesses. The media did their part in early on hyping the catastrophe, and turning people away. I bought into it myself.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  76. Roger - Arizona

    I would like to go anyway. Jimmy Buffet is opening a new hotel. I would get wasted away in Margarita Ville, and enjoy the great atmoshere. I'm retired and would not goin the water anyway. The beach view might not be great, but our friends down there need our support. Let's help them, I'll drink to that!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  77. Chris Kennedy

    I would be glad to go if I had a job! I would like to see unemployed private citizens mobilized and paid to clean up oil and they could easily spend their money locally whether on vacation or not, not troops although the military could manage logistics. How about a management type like me/construction, surely I could contribute something!!!!

    Secondly- after watching all this, since I have the time being unemployed, I am thoroughly disgusted by the fact that it is impossible to set aside politics and deal with the issues but our country is so tied up with back biting, partisanship and self interest. I'm even having some retroactive sympathy with George Bush/Katrina after seeing the difficulty of dealing with another massive catastrophe.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  78. Ted

    Sad to say ! But
    No way would you get me anywhere near there for a long time. What must be in the air and if it should ever rain or there be some marine layer what would that have picked up from the ocean?

    June 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  79. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    Jack,

    Ignoring the Gulf Coast would be like dumping a lover because they have a pimple. All complexions clear and so too will the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  80. Valerie Kleiner

    I enjoyed another beautiful day on the beach on the Gulf Coast today. Too bad all of you are sitting inside listening to all this negative PR. You are scaring people away. Stop it!!!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  81. Deb in Carterville

    Of course I would still vacation on the Gulf Coast! The spill does not cover ALL of it, as the news media would like us to believe. Of course, it strikes me funny that no business/hotel is giving any incentive to come there..........they are just interested in 'sticking' it to BP. My guess is that they'll be sorry someday for that attitude~

    June 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  82. Ron in Sequim, WA

    No, I'm generally opposed to hot sticky places that smell – but that was before the oil spill so who knows what it’s like now – probably worse. I spent plenty of time stationed in that part of the US while in the military & I’m certainly glad I retired to the Pacific NW.

    Honestly/more seriously, I feel for them: BP started this mess and the ineptness of the administration has only compounded the misery. I certainly hope things turn around for them soon.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  83. Leatha Flowers

    My husband is an inshore (shallow water) fishing guide out of Carrabelle, FL. There is currently NO oil in our waters, so people need to come on down and support those who make a living from the Gulf of Mexico. This is the prime season not only for my husband's business, but for the majority of coastal businesses. The media coverage has made it sound like Florida is already affected when in fact only a very small area of the western Panhandle has any evidence of oil (to date). And if the oil does make it this far in the future, won't you wish you'd come when you had a chance?
    Tallahassee, FL

    June 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  84. Dan

    Well, I certainly would. Never been to the area and would like to visit. Although, a tax incentive to visit would seal the deal.
    Dan
    Smithtown, NY

    June 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  85. Chuck

    Jack,

    I just might, as would so many other Americans as well, should our President and his family skip heading north to the Cape and set the example for all Americans and head SOUTH for their family vacation, but they won't!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  86. Kevin

    Absolutely. The people there have suffered and endured enough pain. Rita, Katrina and now the oil spill. Anyone who says we can rely BP is going to help them get back on their feet is a fool. The best thing we can do to help these people is to plan a vacation down there and spend money on local small businesses. It is their livelihood that's on the line

    June 16, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  87. Tim Roy

    I will be leaving for Panama City Beach on June 19 with my family for a much needed vacation. I believe the best way to help out is to visit the area. If the oil washes on shore while we are there, then we will just move further down the coast. BP isn't going to ruin our vactation plans.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  88. William Courtland

    So make it an attraction.

    Make it great masses of goo which has been converted by a bacteria to a biproduct of life. Near to shore and such... Finding the right bacteria is essential. While many might work: the right one is found by picking the bacterial life which will eat oil: but also sustain lifeforms which can feed off that life and survive the oil rich environment as tandem to the climate of the Gulf of Mexico. Such life should be easily found: to plankton, krill or other viables.

    Insurances...

    So I would tell my old boss, and will still.

    But all other Oil producers... So to contribute to the clean up: and your insurance rates will not increase for the pardon. For the idea of Oil. As viable for plastics and other things required in the future: as part of processed material goods.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  89. Denise, Bloomington Indiana

    If I could have two vacations this summer I would take one on the Gulf. I have been down there before and know that there are more things to do than spend time on the beach. Unfortunately I have had one planned on another coast for some time.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  90. Kevin LaBranche

    In order to vacation in the Gulf Coast you need money. With so many Americans out of work, the drop in business that the business owners are seeing along the coast is not all to blame on the oil. People just dont have the extra money to vacation far from home.

    Kansas City, Missouri

    June 16, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  91. Sidney Caldwell

    Sure, I would. I lived on the coast when I was in high school and almost always there were some bbbbtar balls on the beach. along with a dead crab and some seaweed. Most of the tourists lie on the beach above the tide line......they swim in the hotel pools and lots of them eat at McDonald's......no seafood there.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  92. jr

    i live in orange beach al and we have other activities here. As to your question mr. jack i would never let my children in the gulf of mexico due to the chemicals that have been put in the water by B.P. we need the tourist to come visit im scared for the children long term yes today they are fine what about 20 years from now, it will be too late to say " what have i done" Mr. Obama came here but all it was, was a dog and pony show i would be ashamed of myself if i was president and did as he is doing. Thank you for your time jr

    June 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  93. val

    Yes, I will.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  94. Jason L

    I would like to say yes, but I have already relocated my family's regular summer beach vacation from Orange Beach, AL to Hilton Head, SC this year. I am ashamed to admit that, but with it all being so close to home I just want to make it go away for a while.

    Jason L
    Mobile, AL

    June 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  95. ann perry

    Jack,my husband and I have spent last 2 weeks in Gulf Shores Alabama,Pensacola and Santa Rosa Island Florida had a great times.The seafood was wonderful.We loved every minute of it.Came home with a good tan.Lots of people was cleaning up Gulf Shores Saturday when we was there.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  96. William Courtland

    Whales are comming: they brought whales in: all this Krill...

    June 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  97. Bob Lindsey

    Yes. The local touist councils along the gulf coast should set up mini-enviro vacation packages for people to visit the coast, get a couple of hours of training and ecology educartion and put in a day or three to help save the beaches and marshes. There are lots of labor-intensive work to be done, and the participants will wear their "Gulf Coast Rescue" ball caps for the next decade.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  98. Effie S Stallsmith

    It would be great if those who plan a vacation in that area still go and then give their time to clean up or at least one day of it. Wish we had thought of it before spending our money on vacation. Families could really teach their children about how precious our natural resources are and young adults would have an experience that would be with them forever. Just a thought.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  99. Tom Leonard

    Since I am in Pensacola, Florida it can be assumed I am
    prejudice but realistically, now is the perfect time to visit
    our area. Our beach is still beautiful and oil-free for the
    most part. Hotel or motel rates are a bargain at this time
    and restaurants have specials that please the pallet and the wallet.
    So, come on down, vacation and bring your green stuff–we can
    use it. Bon Voyage.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  100. Bob

    We New Yorker's were so moved after 911 when folks from all over this great country rallied and came to our city to shop, eat, and enjoy the theatre. Maybe its time for busloads of Americans travel to the gulf coast
    to shop, eat and enjoy the weather. Sign me up, I'm on the bus!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  101. Andy in Destin

    As a resident of the area, this hits close to home. Currently the Destin beaches are as nice as ever – the perception is what hurts. Folks think of the spill like a winter time cold front that sweeps down and everybody gets hit with the same rain and snow. So far it is more like scattered thunder showers – depending on winds and currents, some places are hit hard but others are not. If CNN in Atlanta saw that Macon had a summer thunderstorm, would they suggest not going to Atlanta pools?

    It is easy to finds web cams for the Guilf Coast beaches. See for your self what is the conditions are then make a decision. Many of the businesses are offering guarantees and some really great deals.

    Also, there is so much more to do than just the beach – golf, tennis, amusements, shopping, dining, night life, museums, inland boating etc. This is a major resort area.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  102. Dave

    We have reservations for Orange Beach. I feel bad for everyone on the Gulf. We decided to go and support them. As long as the beaches are still open, we are game.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  103. Susan Whitehead

    I just returned from vacation in the Gulf, Panama City. I would go back again no problem. I stay at a family owned motel and the week I was there they had 135 people cancel on them in just that week alone. And they have no oil at all! They need our support !!!

    Susan
    Maryville, Tn

    June 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  104. Kris Roberts

    I am taking my family down to Fort Morgan June 30th-July 5th. There is a lot more to do than swim in Gulf Shores Alabama. We should do all we can to keep our gulf economy going.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  105. Tina

    Because of the lack nursing jobs in Minnesota, I moved to Arkansas a month ago. I decided that since I am now living this close to the Gulf, there is no reason not to go. I intend to take my young son and nephew along to experience the culture that the area has to offer. The Gulf states are still recovering from Katrina, I intend to help any way I can.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  106. DM

    Yes – we are still vacationing on the gulf. Leaving for Destin on Sunday. Can't wait!!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  107. tom

    absoutely not! These "folks" insist on less goverment (it's a red state), until they screw up, and then they want the gov'mint to pour trillions of dollarsinto them to bail them out. One day, they scold President Obama for not interfering in BP activities, then their Gov, has the nerve to scold President Obama for being too harsh on oil companies, by making them halt production until they determine what caused this mess.They use this silly comparison to an airline crash, but didn't they stop Shuttle flights after the Challenger diaster? The SST crash? They cry about 1500 oil workers put out of work (aren't they the ones who screwed up?) but don't give a damn about how they're affecting hundreds of thousands of people who work in restaurants, resorts in other state etc...

    June 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  108. Steve Batts Edna KS

    Il live for real seafood. Why should I drive hundreds of mile, when I can just go locslly, buy fish sticks and bring a can of motor oil from the garage and pour into the skillet. I was borne and raised on the coast. This is a capital crime.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  109. Debbie

    I have to agree it's not cheap vacationing . Average cost $2,000 and up . Economy effecting 1 out of 3 people .

    June 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  110. Stacey Spinosa

    Yes of course!!!!! It is absolutely beautiful here in the panhandle. Sunshine, white clean sand and clear blue waters!!! The only oil I see here is sun tan oil!! What else could you ask for.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  111. Richard Denney

    As a local business owner in Destin Florida, we welcome all tourists!
    Come on down, we haven't seen any oil yet!!! The beaches are beautiful! Please come!!!!!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  112. Michael Lynbrook, NY

    Hey jack,

    In light of the oil spill in the gulf I think that America should just stop crying over the spilled milk and get to the business of cleaning up the mess that caused the disaster in the first place. Obama's platform has been to get America off of fossil fuel and this should be just the catalyst to jump start the innovation and creativity that once made America great. As it is now we do not make anything anymore. Everything is either outsourced or brought in from foreign nations including the oil. In the case of off shore drilling, I would say that this should be strictly government owned and operated this would put the responsibility upon the government to regulate and keep the offshore drilling industry in check. As far as other sources of energy and oil, yes perhaps that can be privatized. However, let's allow for necessity and ingenuity to be the mother of invention as she once was and just get over the loss of money for the short term. BP is willing with its 20 billion dollar fund to compensate so lets move on, clean up and get over this tragedy. I will not be eating any seafood from the Gulf of Mexico or visiting any beaches in that region until we get this right.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  113. John Traver

    Only if there is a protest against the Senators and Representatives that voted for the terrible law that is governing the problem. People who vote for limited government should accept the problems when they get their wish.

    I advocate a FEMA type of government program that is funded to do the job, but that has to be done before the problem, not after. Yes, it would require higher taxes, but definetely could have greatly reduced the problems.

    MMS also needs to be funded to do their own evaluation of what should required for drilling an oil well in the gulf. It can be done safely, with the proper engineering. But it takes strong oversight to force the companies to comply.

    PS I lived in the area, and really do not want to go back in the sumer.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  114. Anthony

    I will not vacation on the gulf coast. It is a toxic hell-scape of pollution, despair, and corruption. Wait until the first major storm washes this oil one hundred miles inland. Entire states will be covered with polution, which will never be cleaned up. There are already tens of millions of gallons of oil in the water. it cannot be stopped, and it will take decades for the ecosystem to recover. that is reality.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  115. Sylvia O'Connell

    Jack, I will make a very special effort to vacation on the Gulf Coast!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  116. steve wilson

    I live in St Tammany parish in Louisiana i usually go to Pensacola FL or Gulf Shores Al To swim in the Gulf and i will continue to go there until it is unsafe to go there – I would like to know what the Republican party would have done that President Obama Hasn't done – All i have heard from them since they lost the last election is negative – It's time for people to grow up and work together – some things are bigger than politics..

    June 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  117. Jim

    While I did not have a vacation planned, I am going to head over to the gulf side of my home state of Florida and spend some money. Anything I can do to help....

    June 16, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  118. Todd Shultz

    Yes we will be going to Panama City Beach for the 4th of July, oil or no oil. My son is playing in the World Series baseball tournament that week and we would not miss it for the world!!!!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  119. Richard McKinney, Texas

    In about a decade i'll go but not before. I am not eating seafood until then either.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  120. Scott Stodden

    I would definetly visit the Gulf Coast and vacation there, its a beautiful place to visit no matter if your in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida or any Gulf Coast state and the food and people are amazing! These people need our help and if and when anyone wants to visit I encourage you to spend your time there talking with the people and helping to clean this mess up cuz God knows BP aint doing the job!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    June 16, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  121. John G

    Not only is it a good idea, the area needs it more than ever. Remember how New York begged for tourist dollars in the days after 9/11? Remember how New Orleans rolled Mardi Gras parades when the Katrina flood waters had barely receded? If you have the money to go, it's an obligation to go. What you see may not be there next year.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  122. Rebecca Potts Baker

    I love the Gulf Coast and I will most definitely go there on vacation – to the Louisiana coast. The oil on the coast doesn't bother me at all as far as vacation goes. There are so many things to do there and places to see – just being in that area makes me relax. I am not concerned about the seafood I will eat and I am not concerned about breathing the air. I will spend more money this year than usual because I know this is a way the people there will know I support them and I will continue to travel there over the summer and fall to continue that support.

    Becky
    Concord, NC

    June 16, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  123. Joan Missell

    Yes. If I had money to go on a vacation, I would go and if there was anything I could do to help, I would. If not, I could still use the hotels/motels and restaurants to show support. Everyone should consider going there on vacation to show how much we support each other.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  124. Muhammed

    I am going to AL to visit in-laws this July. If the beaches are oily then my wife and I are going to volunteer to do clean up.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  125. Paul

    Jack, While the oil spill is tragic there are still many along the Gulf Coast whose lives depends on travel and tourism so we still plan on going. I just came back from Panama City Beach, FL and the beaches were beautiful. We already have plans to go back to Panama City Beach in July with our family and will go oil or not. There is plenty of other things to do and my kids mainly enjoy the pool and activities anyway. The property we are going to has added many activities and attraction discounts to give an alternative to the beach.

    Sincerely,

    Paul Shamblin
    Atlanta, GA

    June 16, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  126. Brenda Frazier/Mesquite, TX

    Yes! Short of volunteering to clean up, supporting the local businesses by vacationing can only be a help. Why not make it a volunteering vacation? Better than sitting on a couch with a remote in your hand, complaining about what's done being done.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  127. Steven

    Jack the only reason I wouldn't visit is, I live South of the Spill. So far it hasn't reached the Tampa Bay Area. We appreciate everyone who wants to spend their time and money in this Region. I must admit the beaches along Destin and Fort Walton are some the most beautiful I've ever enjoyed. St. Petersburg's Fort Desoto Beaches ranks up there too.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  128. Michele

    Yes, and I researched oil spill volunteer opportunities yesterday to that end. If everyone in the U.S registered with an oil spill cleanup organization and spent just one 'vacation' week in the Gulf in this or the coming years, we could help their economy while giving our time to the cleanup efforts. Imagine what we could accomplish.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  129. Harry

    I have been going to PCB for 49 years, and plan to go four two weeks over July4th. I pray the oil will hold off. This has been very stressful usually I am getting very excited right now but not this year.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  130. Christy Miller

    My family lives near the coast in Alabama and had made plans with extended family to vacation in Orange Beach, AL this July. There have been numerous discussions as to cancelling and rebooking somewhere on the Atlantic. But we are seeing firsthand how the loss of vacationers is hurting everyone on the coast. We all decided the right thing to do is keep our reservations to support the local economy here. We will stand with the people on the Gulf and help them recover by bringing our money and enthusiasm for all there is to do here.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  131. Tony

    The local Gulf businesses are forgetting it seems that our whole country economy is in trouble, not only due to oil spill and people can't afford any vacation.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  132. Bob from Baltimore Maryland

    No need to visit the Gulf Coast...I can find pollution much closer to home. In all seriousness the President has been dealt a bad hand and in my opinion is doing his best in a no-win, no-win situation. It wasn't bad enough that eight years of Republican rule brough the national economy to its knees, now it has brought the environment (and local businesses) there as well. Make no mistake about it...the getting-in-bed with big business politics of the Bush-Cheney Criminal Administration has destroyed life as we once knew it.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  133. pamelac holt

    foley,al i live here and i watch tourists with small children on the beach, with workers suite up to protect themselves against the oil and a dispersent, that has been banned by other countries... what do you see wrong with that picture????

    June 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  134. Kirk Neuman (Apple Valley, MN)

    As bad as it is, it isn't as bad as you news types have made it out to be. I we could, my wife and I would swing down to the Gulf and have some good times on the beaches and have some good, down home seafood.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  135. Jaime

    Would I vacation on the Gulf Coast? Of course... I just did!! Some friends and I just made it home from a vacation in Destin, FL and the beaches and the city are beautiful! I stayed at a resort called Sterling Shores, and they had a variety of activities available for the kids, and discounted pricing for area vendors... Beaches aside, there was still a lot to do to keep us entertained.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  136. Ron- Destin, Florida

    Not only would I vacation in the Gulf; I'd love to live there. No wait, I already do! Too bad the rest of the world doesn't get the whole truth. I just left the beach a few minutes ago and the beaches in Destin, Florida are absolutely beautiful...AND CLEAN! When I drove across the Mid Bay Bridge (which crosses the bay that enters Destin), the water was so smooth and beautiful, you could waterski on it. We may not be as packed as we usually are, but just ask the ones that ARE here...they're having a BLAST! Come on down!!!!!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  137. Barbara H

    My fiance and I just recently had this discussion regarding taking a vacation trip to either Mississippi or Louisana. My thoughts at the time were to support the people going through this terrible experience. His response however had validity, If we're vacationing the last thing we want to have to consider is not being able to fully enjoy what this part of the country is best known for, seafood, marshs, the beauty and beachs. I would suggest that the tourist boards start thinking of another theme beside the beachs to attract customers. if we can 't do the things we enjoy what is the point of coming, no matter how much we would like to support the people affected. It would be easier to go elsewhere and appease my conscience with a cash donation.

    Houston, TX

    June 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  138. Wayne Leonard

    The Gulf of Mexico is one of the most beautiful places I've been to. I lost my job over a year and a half ago. Ran out of unemployment and had to retire at 62 June 1. If I had the money I would be there in heartbeat to experience it again just in case it's never the same.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  139. Nancy Pittsfield, PA

    My heart is breaking for the residents of the Gulf Coast. I can't even bring myself to look at the footage of that oil gushing into the water. If I could afford a vacation this year, I would definitely vacation there to try to help out in some small way.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  140. James Wall

    Yes, about 20 of us will be on Lido Beach in Sarasota, FL July 17 except in a Hurricane.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  141. Marv

    Yes! A few days ago we were on the snow-white, soft-sand emeral-green waters of Ft Walton, Florida. It was majic. We loved it and did not see a drop of oil anywhere we were.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  142. Mark Frost

    We are definitely going to the Gulf Coast (Destin area) this summer. Hey, the reality is my kids and wife don't like going in the ocean anyways. They always stick to the swimming pools. So, what are we missing? Plus, I don't believe that the beaches are going to be "covered in oil." I enjoy going to the Gulf Coast to sit in a chair and become semi-comatose while looking out to the ocean. If it has a little oil in it, so what. I don't mean to minimize the ecological impact ot the situation, but going to the Gulf Coast is much more than going in the water. And, it's the right thing to do to support those who are affected. I also suggested to my family to go to the Coast and helping clean up for a vacation. Well, the blank stares and jaws dropping indicated their answer was "no." So, we'll just go "help" by being there and spending money.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  143. Melinda Jones

    Yes, I would; I'm normally not afraid of eating food or going to places that some might be afraid of and the president was adement about the safety of the beaches and the food. So, if we have the chance, we should all go and support the businesses and fishermen in the area.
    Jack, did anyone else feel bp's words, using small people, were offensive or was it just me?

    June 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  144. Conor in Chicago

    Well I hate to the bearer of bad news but if you want to visit the Gulf Coast you have to do it now. You won't be able to in the future. At least now they still have food stocks, civil order, amenities, and all products and services will be at a reduced price because they are trying to attract folks down there.

    Once all of the sea food stocks are wiped out and polluted and everybody is living off of BP subsidies and government subsidies, both of which will be insultingly low, the Gulf Coast will look more like Haiti than it will the US.

    So visit now while you can. Next year this region will hardly look like America.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  145. Bill Scherfel

    Nah.....My wife became unemployed due to her employer's (a big drug company) decision to downsize, and my employment business is down 46% due to nobody hiring. Vacation? Shoot, we don't even have enough money to go play goofy golf for an evening.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  146. Mike

    I'm going this week, but I'm not sure my impacked will help or hurt. with all the fuel I'll and carbon I'll add to the envirment. Doomed if don't and doomed if you do!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  147. No Gulf vacations for a few years

    I feek bad for the good folks in LA AL and FL, but for the next few years I am trading the tar balls, oil slicks, and sickly fumes for the Bahamas, St Marteen, and Myrtle Beach

    June 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  148. George

    Please come visit the Gulf Coast. Our friends and neighbors on the coast in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida all depend upon annual tourism, and many areas have so far had little or no impact. That may change, but right now a family can obtain a great bargain on a summer vacation. I spoke with friends today on the Florida panhandle near Destin and Panama City Beach and they confirmed the beaches are still fine.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  149. Delisa Brown

    As an owner of a condo at Orange Beach ,Alabama we have seen almost all of our June reservations cancelled and have no July reservations. While we regret these cancellations we are not personally depending on these rentals to make a living The people who will really suffer from these cancellation are not the condo owners ,.....it is the restaurants, housecleaners, stores owners/workers, recreation sites, city taxes, etc. While the pristine, white sand beaches are a huge draw for the Alabama beach goers there are so many other activities to take part in IF the particular beach water in front of your condo is closed for a few days.

    The National News media isn't helping the situation with the dire pictures of a few areas when there are many other areas that are unspoiled and oil free. Please help the Gulf Coast to survive the national tragedy by actively encouraging visitors to visit and help this area to begin the long road to recovery. Gulf Coast year round residents need and deserve all of our help at this time.

    Delisa Brown
    Hamilton, GA

    June 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  150. Kevin

    I have been unemployed for many years so I do not have a lot of money to travel. I am also concerned about low level toxic chemicals in the air and in the water near the oil spill that might make me sick if I did take such a vacation. I think I would vacation somewhere else that is safer.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  151. Sharon Cohen

    It always puzzles me that after a natural disaster the Southeners turn to God (assuming there is one) for help. If God(sic) cared ,wouldn't he/she have prevented the occurance in the first place. THINK ABOUT IT!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  152. Jeff Key

    From a Florida local, even if the beaches and seaside marshes were fouled, there is so much more to the Gulf Coast. Just inland, in freshwater, there are the most amazing cypress swamp ecosystems that are sanctuaries for the some of the most diverse plant, bird and animal populations in North America. Plus, people can pitch in and help with cleanup efforts while they visit.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  153. Phil and Barbara

    As native Floridians, (now living in Seattle), we are deeply concerned, saddened and empathetic. I believe everyone should take their vacations this year in Louisiana as they have suffered so much in such a short period of time. They need our support now more than ever, as do the other Gulf states. Hope to meet Billy Nungessor and James Carville while we're there as they truly represent "We the People"

    June 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  154. Dallas

    Yes, as I write this... I am vacationing on the beautiful sugar white sandy clean beaches on Walton County's Scenic 30-A in Watersound Beach. The beaches and the water are crystal clear. My family enjoyed the day soaking up the sun on the beach and riding our boogie boards in the CLEAN Gulf of Mexico. We're about to head out and ride our bicycles along 30-A on the bike path, to Seaside for Dinner. It’s absolutely gorgeous here…See you at the beach!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  155. David

    Jack – was there most of the past 2 weeks. Had fish every night and some lunches. Uuuum uummm good! Grew up in Mobile. Unfortuanately, no crowds. That is some of the most fun....seeing the people

    June 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  156. Tomz

    Actually it's probably one of the best times to go. You could probably get some pretty low prices for hotels and maybe airfare, even at places that are as of yet unaffected by the spill. Worst case scenario is not being able to enjoy the beach and swimming. But there are so many other things to do besides the beach.

    -Tom
    Orange, CT

    June 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  157. R

    NOPE..SORRY..I would be afraid I would get sick from the air quality..I mean, how good is it, really??

    June 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  158. Edward Hayes

    Use nature's own calcium deposits like white blood cells and make a wire bandage to allow calcium to grow around the leak stopping it quickly, naturally, and completely.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  159. JD

    I would not. Realistically, most of the people who said yes are just kidding themselves. Unfortunately, people will stay away from that area for at least two years, maybe more, thanks to the soon to be defunct company BP. However, I hope things turn around soon for the communities along the Gulf of Mexico.

    JD Durick
    Haymarket, VA

    June 16, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  160. Matthew Box

    My family has already canceled our vacation to Florida due to the oil spill. We had planned to go mid July, but we do not expect the beaches to be free of the oil. Even if they stopped the spill today, it will be coming to the beachs for many months to come if not years. Its a shame because they're such nice beaches.

    We need to have Kevin Costner's cleaning machines out on the gulf fast. The profits from the oil could be used to the clean-up. The only good thing is that with all of the oil hitting the market at once, it should drive the price of oil down.

    Matt,
    Nashville TN

    June 16, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  161. Gary Saari

    Jack, unfortunately, or fortunately, depending upon how you look at the scenerio, I have been vacationing in Gulf Shores, Alabama at least in the winter since 2002. Obviously, my wife and I decided to stay after I retired from my law enforcement job. My reasoning was because I was tired of shoveling snow. We made Gulf Shores our home several years ago, and I hope BP with the help of Obama and the rest of the politicians (Republican and Democrat alike) can make this area whole once again. This place is very unique, and I would like to stay here, but if our government allows our oil corporations or any corporation to dictate safety standards based on their profit agenda, it's probably time to move. Corporate greed should not rule.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  162. Elin/Dallas, TX

    I vacationed in FL last week, and would have even if oil had already reached the beaches (which it has not). People who have cancelled their vacations in the Gulf should reconsider. Local papers are reporting that rentals are down 60% or more in the Destin, FL area alone. As I have close ties to that area, I know of at least 4 local business that announced last week they cannot afford to remain open. If we don't support the Gulf Beach businesses, they will not survive this spill – not because of the oil, but because of the lack of visitors.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  163. Archie Prater

    Boy Jack.That's a tough Question.I mean if vacationing in a environment that is.Too believe is 10 times worst than the Valdez Spill.Seems too me there is a lot too consider.Consternation has set in....Archie.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  164. Herb

    By the way, why does everyone keep calling this a "Spill". It is nothing of the kind. This is an ongoing serious and signficant artificially-induced "leak" of oil and methane gas, not a 'spill'. There's a big difference. The word spill connotates a possible uncontrolled accident – which this was not.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  165. Dominic

    Yes Jack. We just got back from Santa Rosa Beach Florida and it was GREAT. There was no sign of oil nor was there a massive presents of BP or Government personal inspecting beach. There is automatically an assumption that since this spill occured in the Gulf of Mexico that all beaches are effected and will close. That is far from the truth. These communities have plans on how to deal with the oil. I spoke with one business manager and she says Santa Rosa Beach is prepared for anything. I would encourage anyone that wants to visit Florida to go and visit. Its beautiful and I give it a thumbs up.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  166. Allen

    Way ahead of you there, Jack. Beginning Saturday, I'll be taking a one-week vacation to Naples, Florida. Is it close to the oil? No, but that's the point. I think what people need to realize is that just because there's a problem in one part of the Gulf, it doesn't mean the entire Gulf coast is marred by this accident. There's 1,680 miles of U.S. Gulf Coast to go to and only about 250 miles of coastline are affected. We shouldn't penalize the residents of the remaining 1,430 miles by unintentionally boycotting their businesses. In my opinion, now is the best time to go. We'll have the beach all to ourselves!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  167. Duane in Kansas

    Jack, I was just there for the New Orleans Jazz festival, and will return in about 3 months. I would hope that most people would avoid BP oil products and buy their solar panels. That's right the same company that is associated with the worst oil spill in history is also the largest producer of solar panels. I hope to see you, Wolf and more of the CNN crew down in Louisiana!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  168. ~BEVERLY~Mystic,Iowa

    Yes! I love it there. No hurricane, oil, loss of beaches & seafood, nor wild hoses could ever keep me away.

    The only thing that would keep me away from there, FOREVER, is a loss of respect for its inhabitants, because I wouldn't want to be near them anymore.

    If they allow themselves to be bullied by the VAST MINORITY of the Earth's population, I will lose all respect for them, & will lose all hope for the human race.

    Earth is our only home. I live here, & don't want greedy, unscrupulous, selfish, WEALTHY oil barons deciding the fate of my home EVER again.

    We've already defeated Big Business once. We won an unprecidented, & seemingly impossible, battle against the insurance companies, lobbyists, & corrupt polititians, who fought tooth & nail to prevent health care reform for us. The average, middle class, Americans, who had, for too long, lost their voice, were victorious! EVERYONE can go to the doctor now. Even young children with pre-existing conditions are now able to receive life-saving, life-changing treatments now! We defeated them then & we can do it again.

    The sensible people of the Gulf Coast MUST not allow any more drilling, ANYWHERE.

    I WANT MY PLANET BACK!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  169. Terry

    No way! This issue is going to get bigger. I still predict that BP will declare bankruptcy to avoid future claims. This is starting to sound like all of the other corporate screw-ups, and the American Tax Payers will get the hit.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  170. Gary H. Boyd

    I live in Arizona Jack and I'd be delighted to vacation on the Gulf coast despite the oil spill. Those boycotting Arizona because of our new immigration law are the ones I suspect would similiarly boycott the Gulf.People with small minds are like that ya know.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    June 16, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  171. Jan - Oregon

    My husband and I had a wonderful time in New Orleans years back. We’d still come and vacation now if we planned to this summer with oil spill or without. There are many so activities and fabulous sights to see and do that it would not spoil your vacation due to the oil spill.
    Lastly, our family went to Yellowstone during the great wildfire even thou the park was closed one week after we left, we were encouraged by the park to come and not cancel our reservations, glad we did come. The fire was an experience our children, my husband and I will never forget.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  172. Tom

    No, I live here and surf in the Gulf. I've had oil on me from a spill about 10 years ago. No fun.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  173. Kevin

    I would be concerned about getting sick from the toxic chemicals so I would say NO to a vacation in the Gulf.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  174. Dave

    If we assume 50, 000 brls of oil are gushing into the gulf,each and every day...the total spill is now (day 58) more than 5.5 million barrels or +/- 260 million gals. BP claims to have captured approximately 20 million gallons. If florida beaches are still free of oil....they won't be for long. No Florida vacation for this family for a very long time.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  175. Yes Jack

    We have vacationed their for the last 15 years and are going down there on Saturday for 7 days. They need us now more than ever! I am happy with our Presidents actions to the Corporate irresponsibility that BP has displayed. The oil companies of the world need more regulations to control their irresponsible greed. They screwed it up! They need to fix it!

    Tony
    O' Fallon MO

    June 16, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  176. L.J.

    I would definately still vacation on the Florida Panhandle. Those beaches have always been a part of my life. I remember tar balls on the beaches in the 80's, and they won't keep me away this time either.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  177. kyle

    YES. We're already booked and are keeping the reservations. We love the area and have always been treated wonderfully. If the money we spend is any help at all, we're happy to do it.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  178. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Hell yes, where do I send my request to BP so they can pay me for going on vacation to Clearwater Beach, I'll cut them some slack and buy my own beer.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  179. Darius

    I'm heading there in about a month. As with any departure from the home front, one should expect the unusual. I look forward to it. I know the good people of the region can use the support!

    June 16, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  180. Jay In Nashville

    Why would any sane person expose their family to hydrocarbons in the air and ocean? Its one thing to have sympathy for the Gulf Coast residents affected by this, its another thing entirely to expose your family to an envirnoment that could shorten and exasperate their lifespans.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  181. Jeanette Bishop

    I made plans to visit Sanibel Island 5 days before the Deep Horizon blew up. I have not changed my plans. The resort I'm going to says they have booms in place but that no oil has been detected. Basically, I just need a break from work so getting away is the main point. Hopefully we will get in the water and pickup sea shells and see oil-free flamingos....Hopefully.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  182. Gordon Wade

    I live on the beach 25 miles from Panama City. I am looking at the beach as I type. There is no oil. There won't be any oil here because of the wind and waves. The news media's need to create crisis is doing a great disservice to the thousands of businesses that depend on the tourist trade. The people here are mystified and angry about the fear mongering lying reporting.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  183. RW Johnson

    I have reservations for Pensecola in September for the seafood festival, that I think I will change to the west coast or somewhere else. It will still be helping US citizens. While I feel sorry for the Gulf and the people whose fault this is not. The hotel and tourism business did not usually do anything to assist me when the times were good. they typically jack up the rates during the summer to some outrageous amount and want to lock you in so you cant change your plans, even if you have an emergency.

    Are any hotels or eating spots offering any discounts? We save up all year for one vacation and I need to get the most out of it. This is an area that wants to have the best of both worlds...One brother goes of to fish and crab while the other goes off to work on an oil rig. While its clear BP took risks and made un-safe decisions there is really enough blame to go around for all of us. Sorry gulf coast, but I'll see you next year...maybe.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  184. David, CA

    I will vacation there- scoop up a tanker full of oil while I'm at it, and dump it in the yards, homes, and swimming pools of the top brass at BP. Let them know what it's like to have their homes and lives ruined.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  185. Ian from MN

    Yes, but I would probably schuldule a vacation that kept me inland, or at least look at a map to make sure I was going to a clean beach.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  186. Mary Ann Wing

    We went to the Gulf Coast of FLA for the first time last year with our daughters family – most wonderful vacation we ever had – We are going back again in July of this year – wouldn't miss it. I agree that the people and businesses in this area need our support – if we can't go in the ocean – there are other ways we can have fun on the trip. To me the best part of the trip last year was relaxation and the atmosphere for that is unsurpassed – the property company has been great about keeping us informed and offering refunds if we become unsatisfied with our trip. Can't ask for more than that – they're doing what they can

    June 16, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  187. Billy Chambers

    The Beaches are beautiful, the fishing is the best it has been in years, I have a vacation home in Panama City Beach Florida and there is no reason to even question whether or not vacation on the Emerald Coast.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  188. in Woodstock GA

    Of course I would vacation on the Gulf Coast!

    I am too old to be interested in going to the beach. My idea of a great vacation is an air conditioned hotel room, lots of shops to browse in, and good food.

    When it comes to the food i could always eat steaks or chicken if I was scared of the oil and also could ask and be sure that any seafood i wanted was NOT caught in the gulf. I'd buy the kind that we already get from those fish farms in Vietnam, Korea, and other Pacific locales.

    And If i had planned to go to the Gulf I would NOT change plans.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  189. Craig Dees

    My wife and I have gone to the Destin area every year for more than 30 years. We're going this year in a couple of weeks. That area has always been our sanctuary. Personally it hurts to see what's happening. But I think what's going on is breaking everyone's heart. It's a helpless feeling.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  190. Hans

    Jack,
    I have a house down here and I have to rent it out to pay the mortgage and maintenance. Everyone is canceling, and I can understand them. If you can go somewhere else, why risk coming down here and not being allowed in the water? Why would you have tar remover handy to clean off your feet when you can go elsewhere which does not have BP's mess? I was down there two weeks ago, and the beach was lovely, even though the media claimed I was up to my shorts in oil. I can understand why you don't want to spend your hard earned money on a risky vacation.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  191. Brandon

    Just got back from vacationing in Destin, FL. The beaches were great and the air was clean. I even got a great gulf fishing trip in. Did not see even a hint of the disaster except that they were training for what might happen, and the harbor and beaches were fairly empty. As long as you can get a refund if the oil does become a problem, there is no reason not to vacation on the Emerald Coast right now. Also, New Orleans isn't covered in oil, and Louisiana could use your tourist dollars right now.

    Brandon,
    Pearland, TX
    (originally from Cut Off, LA)

    June 16, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  192. Jesse Vancouver Canada

    Hi Jack,

    I'm sorry but I would not vacation in the gulf coast. The reason is that with all the chemicals in the oil still gushing out and all the toxic chemicals in the dispersants used by various government agencies and BP... you might not be able to see it or smell it but it is there and I just would not expose my kids or my wife to that risk.

    I might come back in 50 years with my grand kids when we all know it is safe.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  193. Ann

    Just purchased a condo there last fall....would love to spend my vacation in Gulf Shores in our Condo but it is just not the same when you cannot walk on the beach or grandkids play in the sand....no amount of money can replace these missed opportunities for what was to be a family dream is quickly turning into a nightmare. So sad. WIth all the work on the beach it is not a very peaceful place to be, in fact it is depressing! June 4-11, 2010

    June 16, 2010 at 5:51 pm |