Oil spill could cost tourism $22.7B

July 22, 2010 at 4:35 PM

WASHINGTON, July 22 (UPI) -- Researchers at Oxford Economics said the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico would wipe out $22.7 billion in revenue for the coast's tourism industry.

The lost revenue described in the report covered the Gulf Coast tourism industry through 2013, the U.S. Travel Association said in a release announcing the study.

The study said 400,000 jobs in travel and tourism would be affected by the oil spill that began in April with an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform operated by British petroleum giant BP.

The study outlines a 10-point plan in which the government can help the industry recover from the disaster.

Included are recommendations for a $500 million marketing program "funded by BP to share accurate information on the spill," the trade group said.

The plan also calls for tax deductions for travelers in a defined "disaster-affected area."

"It is not too late now to save Gulf Coast jobs and keep attracting visitors that can prevent further damage to these vital American communities," said Roger Dow, the association's president and chief executive officer.

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