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Hurricane Michael Stokes Fears In Tourism Industry


On top of red tide and blue green algae, Hurricane Michael is compounding to fears in Florida’s tourism industry.

Blue green algae and red tide have dumped thousands of pounds of dead fish onto Florida’s coastlines. And people in the tourism industry are worried.

Governor Rick Scott has directed Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing arm, to develop a red tide recovery program.

But Hurricane Michael, which leveled parts of Panama City and Mexico Beach, is complicating the issue.

Interim chief marketing officer Staci Mellman told her board Friday Florida has never dealt with this kind of crisis before. But, she says, “it’s all about maintaining Florida’s brand perception and ensuring we stay a top travel and tourism destination.

Visit Florida plans to advertise in the United Kingdom and South America. It will highlight unaffected areas in the panhandle and provide advertising services to coastal areas impacted by red tide. 

Shawn Mulcahy is a reporter and All Things Considered host for WFSU. He graduated from Florida State University in 2019 with majors in public relations and political science. He was previously an intern at WFSU, and worked as an Account Coordinator at RB Oppenheim Associates.