A new report to be released today will show that while the oil from the Gulf spill has not reached many beaches, many tourists are shying away from visiting, according to USA Today.
The vast majority of beach closures have been in Louisiana, according to the report to be released by the Natural Resources Defense Council. Nevertheless, the spill has downed some 184 million gallons of oil into the Gulf, scaring away tourists.
That said, beach closures or advisories have been issued for 49 of 253 beaches in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.
"We have not had any oil, any tarballs, anything within hundreds of miles of our beaches," D.T. Minich, executive director of Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater tourism authority, told USA Today. "But perception is the problem."
Already some conventions and even an international volleyball tournament scheduled for the fall have been canceled out of fear, Minich said. "They're concerned about buying non-refundable airline tickets into a place where they are concerned there might be a problem in the fall."
"Tourists are being driven away by the specter of oil "mouse," tar balls, tar mats and even liquid oil on the sand and in the water," the report says.
Along with Louisiana, Mississippi beaches have been hit hard. Luckily that has yet to be the case for Alabama, Florida and even Texas.