Okay, everybody knows Disney World is not in Miami, the Kennedy Space Center is not in Tampa Bay and South Beach is not in the Florida Panhandle. Well, maybe not everybody. A guide indirectly tied to Visit Florida, the state's public/private tourism outfit, suggests Clearwater is in North Florida, puts the Salvador Dalí Museum in Tampa instead of St. Petersburg and misnames the region's major-league baseball team. Getting mad won't help, so we might as well laugh. • But steering more business to the state's many attractions is no joking matter as the tourism industry copes with the impact of the disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Visit Florida claims no direct responsibility for these geographic goofs; a Georgia company vetted by the agency's ad firm took the blame. But it's just the latest misfire in trying to lure tourists as the oil continues to spew. A Visit Florida international news release last month was too alarming, and its first television ads in this country were too generic. So let's get it straight: Most of Florida remains oil-free and open for business. And it's the Tampa Bay Rays, for crying out loud.
A Times Editorial