Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Come On Down

Gov. Crist promises an ad blitz to boost tourism in South Florida.

Well-tanned and with his arm around Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower, Crist stepped onto the shores of South Beach and proclaimed the waters beautiful and oil-free.

”The reason we come out to this gorgeous beach today is to show everybody just how clean it is,” Crist said, surrounded by a gaggle of media and confused sunbathers.

Crist’s beach jaunt — slacks, dress shirt and all — came after a stop Monday morning at the Loews Hotel, where the governor fielded questions from Miami Beach politicians, state representatives, and business lobbyists and executives.

But despite the governor’s dedication to a PR campaign to court big-spending European tourists in-part with some of the $50 million Florida has received from BP, Crist said beaches aren’t at the top of the list when it comes to prevention efforts.

Crist said the state’s marshes, wetlands and estuaries will have priority. Beaches, he said, are the easiest to clean.

”Nobody wants to hear that, but it’s a scientific fact,” he said.

But it’s also a fact that more people come to Florida to lie on the beach than visit the wetlands, so getting them down here to help pay for the clean-up is the idea.