DESTIN, Fla. (AP) -- April 1, 2011 --
Gulf Coast tourism officials gathered for a meeting this week at a Florida Panhandle resort expressed measured optimism over the prospects for growth in 2011.
Even with the worst of the recession and the BP oil spill behind
them, tourism officials say they expect it will be a year of modest
growth with vacationers continuing to come back to the beaches and
seafood restaurants they abandoned after the spill.
March spring break crowds were good but not great this year,
with the more family oriented Easter break and summer seasons on
the horizon. But many hotels are still offering discounts to keep
rooms filled, and surveys show that many consumers falsely believe
beaches in the Florida Panhandle and coastal Alabama are still
awash with oil.