The US tourism industry has been given a scare after another oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico – just over four months since the BP disaster sparked the worst offshore oil spill in history. But officials said there was no evidence of an oil leak, despite earlier reports of a mile-long sheen on the ocean.
Florida tourism officials have credited a $32 million fund donated by BP to encourage holidaymakers to visit despite the Gulf of Mexico oil spill for “saving the summer”. New figures show that visitor numbers to the state rose during the first months of the crisis, which tourism officials credit to an advertising funded by a $32 million donation from BP.
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 and taking three years to recover, based on the aftermath of 25 recent natural and man-made disasters.
A forest fire in the South of France that forced the evacuation of thousands of holidaymakers is reported to be “under control”. The blaze, which police have blamed on arsonists, started on Saturday close to oil refineries near Marseille, has destroyed large areas of woodland.