Travel and Tourism Advisory Board and the Gulf

July 27, 2010

Melanie Kaplan is an intern in the Office of Advisory Committees and entering her junior year at Wellesley College.

From the now infamous “shrimpers” to the hotel owners in Louisiana to the restaurant employees in Florida panhandle, the BP oil spill has caused wide-spread devastation. Not only is the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) working to counteract the damage, the whole Department of Commerce has stepped up to help Gulf Coast residents and businesses stay ahead of the “orange tide.” Everyone is making an effort to address the harrowing situation at hand from daily conference calls on an inter-bureau level to an inter-agency group working to provide needed relief. The International Trade Administration and the Office of Advisory Committees (OAC) are no exception and worked hard to plan this past Monday’s meeting of the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB) in New Orleans. Given the oil spill and the upcoming five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans seemed the perfect locale to step back and think about how  the government and private sector can work together to promote travel and tourism in the region.

Secretary Locke, along with several other senior Commerce officials and the TTAB committee members supported those suffering from the damages of the oil spill by discussing how they can encourage travel and tourism in the Gulf. On that note, BP recently gave $15 million to the State of Louisiana to fund a marketing campaign to help combat the effects of the oil spill on tourism. At the meeting, Secretary Locke pointed out it was a welcomed contribution and reinforced that “the recovery is going to take a lot of work, a lot of time, and a lot of money and we’re going to have to continually hold BP accountable and hold its feet to the fire.” Furthermore, the unity demonstrated by government and business at the meeting highlighted the importance of the jobs created by the travel and tourism sector, which directly and indirectly includes one in every sixteen Americans. As an intern, I have helped plan the event from participating in conference calls to updating the guest list, and putting together briefing binders, and am happy to have made my own small contribution to improving the lives of the Gulf Coast residents and businesses. If you are interested in volunteering or just want more information on efforts to restore the Gulf, please visit RestoreTheGulf.gov, the official federal portal for the Deepwater BP oil spill response and recovery.


  1. Excellent Article. Thanks for Sharing

  2. Inviting and encouraging tourists to spend some of their holidays in Louisiana is ok and well done, but the most important and urgent thing to do is saving what is still possible to save and keeping spotlights on. People forget easily and pretty fast: Lousiana doesn’t deserve to be treated like some gossip news!

  3. With any luck the Gulf Coast area will be able to overcome the devastation and go on to be the wonderful and beautiful place it has always been.

  4. Great article. I think its great that BP contributed these funds but am still amazed that after such a debacle they still managed to produce record profits for the year. I feel they could dig a bit deeper personally and rectify these things.

  5. While I’m all for holding BP’s feet to the fire, who is going to hold the Fed’s feet to the fire for their lackluster response to the mess in the gulf? I’m relatively sure that the Fed’s handling wasn’t as mis-managed as reported, but there have been some pretty bad stories about things that should have been done that weren’t and help offered that was refused.

  6. I like this article but don´t agree some of the coments. excellet article by the way.

  7. Perhaps a proper clean up would be better!

  8. The gulf coast will recover in time but, what amount of time will this take? It was a total disaster waiting to happen and it must never happen again.

  9. Thanks for article.Many of people intersting this post ..

  10. I like your information. I am always look for this type of interesting and good information. many of people are interested to read this type of information.

  11. I think awareness campaign is the best thing to do to prevent it from happening again.

  12. Travel is one of the greatest pleasures in life. For many of us, seeing new places and meeting different people is the ultimate relaxation.

  13. The spill has affected people in the area more than we may ever know. Tourism to areas like Destin, once extremely popular, has dropped off the map. I hope we see it turn around soon.

  14. It’s been over a year now, and we are still suffering from the oil spill. Govt. has done a good job cleaning this mess up but it will take some time until the things get back to they way there before the spill.

  15. The gulf coast will recover but no one knows when. It was a total disaster waiting to happen and it must never happen again. The government should be tougher on oil companies.

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