400,000 travel jobs and $22.7bn – the cost of the BP oil spill

Up to 400,000 travel industry jobs could be lost as a result of the BP oil disaster, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

The organisation has also put the cost of the spill at $22.7 billion and a three-year recovery period, based on a study by Oxford Economics on the aftermath of 25 recent natural and man-made disasters.

“Travel is a perception business, and the impact of disasters like the BP oil spill on the industry is actually predictable,” said Roger Dow, president and chief executive of U.S. Travel.

In a 10-point “Roadmap to Recovery”, the association has called for BP to finance a $500 million marketing campaign to attract visitors to the region.

In addition to the marketing campaign, U.S. Travel recommended that the federal government create a “one stop shop” online portal where consumers can get up-to-the-minute information on affected areas; provide tax deductions to travellers who visit and do business in the region; increase access to low-interest loans for tourism-related businesses; and organize travel and tourism-specific trade missions to the Gulf Coast states.

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β€œIt’s not too late to save Gulf Coast jobs and keep attracting visitors to prevent further damage to these vital America communities,” Dow added.