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Sep 16, 2010 1:50 PM by Veronica White

Oil Fears Bring Tourism Down

Fears of polluted water and oily seafood are spreading, so Louisiana tourism is dwindling.

It is the second largest industry in state, so Lieutenant Governor Scott Angelle is asking for an additional 75 million dollars from BP to help.

State and local agencies are combating the rumors and getting back on track .

"What we're finding as a result of the oil spill is a perception problem," says Pam Breaux from the Louisiana Department of Recreation and Tourism.

Pam says in August, 29 percent of people polled around the country cancelled their trips here because of the oil spill-- up five percent from May.

The reason-- they do not trust the waters.

Regionally it is 17 percent. Some locals say they cancelled their plans for another reason-- the moratorium.

"Who wants to go spend money on a vacation when you're scared you're going to lose your job or get transferred and you have to sell your house and belongings?" says Pam Mcclung, a Lafayette resident.

The Tourism Department's plan includes:

-Communicating the facts to visitors

-Research and conducting surveys

-Getting financial investments to combat misperceptions

-Developing a strategy with partners across the state

Partners in the effort report fishing and seafood to be safe.

"There are plenty of safe areas for fishing and seafood has been tested at over 27,000 tests," says Breaux.

 

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