As of June 17, 2010, the city of Fort Lauderdale’s website claims that all tourism-based businesses are yet unaffected by the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. However, there is real concern among residents, business owners and tourists alike that the spill may soon reach the South Florida coast and its beaches.
The Fort Lauderdale city website states that “Greater Fort Lauderdale and Broward County are not within the projected impact area” of the oil spill. However, officials also admit that winds, tides and continued leakages could drastically affect the path of the oil over the coming weeks.
Signs That the Spill May Affect Tourism
Many travel companies are also looking at this issue very seriously in South Florida. According to USA Today, the travel booking website Orbitz announced an “Open Beach Guarantee” on June 14, 2010 that offers travelers full refunds on hotel stays in South Florida through July 31st as the spill continues to grow. If the government closes a beach within 20 miles of the property at which you booked a room, you get a full refund. The same guarantee applies if the beach is declared “dangerous” for visitors. No announcements have been made on refunds for air, train or car travel.
If you have been affected by the oil spill in Fort Lauderdale or the surrounding areas, you may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney regarding your situation. How this oil spill will affect residents, workers and tourists will remain to be seen over the coming months and years, but it is never too soon to talk to a professional legal representative about health risks or injuries you may have received as a result of the spill.