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Skyscanner: Oil Slick Threatens US Tourism

Following news coverage of Gulf oil spill, Skyscanner sees New Orleans flight searches down by a third, and Florida set to follow

EDINBURGH, United Kingdom--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Skyscanner.com, a global airfare deals search engine reports that domestic flight searches to New Orleans have dropped by 35%*, following international news of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

"Last week, we released a poll which revealed that, on average, tourists will wait about 3 months before returning to an area hit by a natural disaster. I hope that this information, coupled with the swift action to contain the spill, proves encouraging to local businesses."

The oil spill, which resulted from an explosion on BP's offshore rig last month, has been swept towards the coastlines of Louisiana and Mississippi and is now reported to be heading to the Floridian coast.

Since the possible affect on Florida has been reported in the media, Skyscanner has noted an overall stagnation to the area with a significant fall in search volumes for some Florida cities - Tallahassee has dropped 17% and Orlando 5% since last week.

The slick, which is measuring 130 miles long and 70 miles wide, is threatening to be the worst US oil disaster since the Exxon Valdez in Alaska in 1989. Commenting on its impact on tourism, Skyscanner's US & Canadian Country Manager said, "Florida, with its beautiful beaches, is hugely dependent on tourism and so the current situation is very worrying. However, so far, we are not seeing any impact on international searches to the region - whether this is simply because international travelers are less aware of the proximity of the oil slick to Florida's coastline remains to be seen, as increased international news coverage continues."

Scot continued: "Last week, we released a poll which revealed that, on average, tourists will wait about 3 months before returning to an area hit by a natural disaster. I hope that this information, coupled with the swift action to contain the spill, proves encouraging to local businesses."

*all figures are based on week on week comparison with normalizing taken into account

About Skyscanner:

Skyscanner is a leading travel search site, providing instant online comparison on flight prices for over 670,000 routes on over 600 airlines, featuring the best airfare deals to Europe, as well as cheap airfare to Bangkok, London and many of the world's major cities.

Users can browse without having to enter specific dates or even destinations, and Skyscanner offers a choice of 23 different language sites including French, German and Spanish.

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