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Pinellas tourism might not get the BP oil money it wants

Pinellas County won't receive a cut of the $25 million petroleum giant BP gave the state for advertising to convince jittery tourists to vacation in Florida this summer. Gov. Charlie Crist directed nearly $12 million last month to eight Panhandle counties and Visit Florida, the state's public-private tourism agency. The agency spent its share promoting Northwest Florida and the state as a whole. On Wednesday, the governor's office said the remaining money would go to the same counties and Visit Florida to continue ad campaigns through the summer. That disappointed Pinellas tourism officials who say local hotels are losing business because of the tourist worries over the oil spill, too. D.T. Minich, the county's tourism director, asked Crist this month for $2.5 million to advertise that Pinellas beaches are clean and open for business. "Part of the problem a lot of folks in Tallahassee don't think we have a problem because we don't have oil on our beaches,'' said Minich.

Pinellas tourism might not get the BP oil money it wants 06/16/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 7:40pm]
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