“Visit Florida” Confident in Tourism After Hurricane

Hurricane Dennis caused some damage to beaches across the Florida Panhandle, but the state's marketing agency is confident that won't hurt tourism here.

“Visit Florida” says it's relieved the damage was not any worse. Spokeswoman Vanessa Welter says Florida was having a very strong summer tourist season before the hurricane hit.

She expects tourism to remain strong despite extensive news coverage about the storm and several earlier shark attacks.

Welter says Americans have pent-up demand for traveling and many want to come to Florida. She says the state had a record number of visitors last year, even after getting hit by four hurricanes.

Welter says travelers believe Florida knows how to respond to hurricanes now.

Welter does not think the combination of a hurricane and shark attacks over the last month will make it tougher for “Visit Florida” to market the state.

She says Florida is one of the top destinations in the world, so it gets much more attention as a result. Welter says Visit Florida is pretty good at managing perceptions.