tourism

Tourism Marketing Backed After Hurricane, Red Tide

Oct 31, 2018
Dead fish on the shore of a beach.
Stephen Splane / WUSF Public Media

The state’s tourism-marketing arm wants to send a message to potential visitors: Hurricane damage and fish-killing red tide don’t cover all of the Sunshine State.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Gov. Rick Scott issued an emergency order Monday and provided $1.5 million to help clean up water and bring back tourists to Southwest Florida after the latest outbreak of red tide. 

The American Petroleum Institute wants to expand oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic coast.  API says safety isn’t a concern this time. 

Amy Green/WMFE

Eleven national parks in Florida are threatened by White House proposals to open to oil drilling currently protected parts of the nation’s outer continental shelf and to revise the 2016 Well Control Rule, according to a report released Wednesday by environmental conservation groups. 

Mosquito season has officially arrived in Florida, although many would argue it never left.

That perception may soon become reality, according to new studies that show the higher temperatures brought on by climate change are already increasing the range and biting season for many mosquitoes, including the Aedes aegypti — the infamous carriers of viruses like dengue and Zika, which hit Miami hard enough in 2016 to scare off many tourists.

Welcome to the bat cave. No, we're not talking about the secret headquarters of a superhero.

This is Gomantong — an ancient cave carved out of 20 million-year-old limestone in the middle of the Borneo rain forest in Malaysia. It's part of a vast network of tunnels and caverns. And it's the perfect hideout for bats.

Up at the top are millions of bats. Literally millions. They hang upside down all day long from the cave's ceiling, sleeping and pooping.

Two hurricanes, a Zika outbreak and the nation’s worst mass shooting aren’t putting a dent in Florida’s biggest industry.

Thank goodness it's the slow season in Florida.

At least that's what officials and representatives of the state's multibillion-dollar tourism industry are thinking in the wake of the news that 15 people have been infected with Zika in a small, trendy neighborhood in Miami.

Study Reveals Threat Of Toxic Algae Bloom To Tourism

Aug 5, 2016
Amy Green/WMFE

A new study shows that a toxic algae bloom driving Floridians from affected waters also is poised to drive tourists from the state.

Matti Parkkonen (Wikimedia Commons)

With Florida battling a Zika virus outbreak in Miami, the full impacts of federal and international travel advisories on the state's tourism industry won't be known for months.

Gov. Rick Scott hosted a roundtable in Pinellas Park to discuss Zika.

With 10 new local cases of Zika likely transmitted in the Miami area, local and state officials are doing what they can to keep the state's tourism-friendly reputation intact.

Tampa International Airport

The last time Erik Paul took a Caribbean cruise out of PortMiami, getting off the ship took well over an hour.

The lines clearing immigration in the port were backed up, and there was such general chaos that Paul's mother got into a heated argument with a purser when she insisted on getting off the Carnival ship before she was called.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Exploring Miami Beach one recent afternoon, Swiss tourists Adrian Cannistra and Shkunte Mustafa said they considered vacationing on a beach closer to home before booking the lengthy overseas flight.

Greece might have been ideal — with the financial crisis, bargains can be had and many Swiss are taking advantage. Cannistra has vacationed in Tunisia but said recent terrorist attacks there scared him away from North Africa.

"The Swiss don't go there anymore," he said. "They're afraid."

Associated Press

The Florida Senate is again considering new safety regulations for parasailing operators in the wake of high-profile deaths and accidents, the News Service of Florida reports. The past six years, the parasailing industry has opposed changes saying it would increase costs. But now, the Water Sports Industry Association supports rules that would prevent parasailing during high winds and when lightning is nearby.