Travel experts say Hurricane Wilma has taken a bite out of this region’s tourism industry. Outbreaks of red tide and a year’s worth of tropical systems will likely mean fewer visitors will come to this area.
Tourism is Lee County’s biggest industry worth an estimated two-billion dollars in direct and indirect spending. Almost 40-thousand people work for businesses that deal with visitors. D-T Minich is executive director of the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau. He says names like Wilma, Charley, Katrina and Rita spell bad news for attracting visitors here.
“We definitely have some challenges ahead of us. And you know we’re just trying to do the best we can in terms of public relations and marketing and also educating the visitor on some of these issues as well.”
Minich is most concerned about convention planners turning their backs on southwest Florida. He says the visitors’ bureau has increased its marketing efforts the last two years and expects to ramp up even more to encourage people to visit the region.
Thursday, 27 October 2005 01:00