BP forced to pay $30 million for Northwest Florida tourism promotion

By: AP
By: AP

TALLAHASSEE -- Oil giant BP will have to pay $30 million to seven Florida Panhandle counties for tourism promotion over the next three years.

Gov. Rick Scott joined BP executive Luke Keller on Monday to announce the grant. It's designed to help the region's tourism industry recover from a massive oil spill last year in the Gulf of Mexico.

Keller said it brings the total BP has committed to aiding Florida tourism to $62 million.

Scott said the grant is a "very small step" and pledged to hold BP accountable for economic damages.

The state has not yet submitted a claim for lost tax revenue.

The grant will be used for advertising, discounts and other promotions. Panhandle tourism officials said business has been booming so far this year.

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