Isidore Produces Only Slight Dip in Tourism - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/29/02

Isidore Produces Only Slight Dip in Tourism

While most of us got a couple days of vacation because of Isidore, some tourists had to wave their vacations good bye. But what could have been a disaster, turned out to be not so bad.

Gene and Grace Powell came to the coast this weekend from Jackson for a seminar they've been planning for since June.

"We were worried about it getting canceled, but as far our impression [of Isidore], the news media makes it worse than it actually is," Gene Powell said.

"W did have to discontinue some of the beach activities, but we just made arrangements elsewhere," Grace Powell said.

Officials say media hype about the storm, along with not knowing how big the storm's blow would actually be produced a dip in tourism this week.

"Unfortunately, on one hand, some of the national TV networks chose to run footage of hurricane Camile and other dramatically horrible storms, category three's, category five's, that might have scared some people away," Harrison County Tourism Commission Director, Steve Richer said.

"I think there's a little bit of, how bad was it torn up? There's another storm out there, do we not go? I think there's that fear or lack of knowledge of what it's like today," Holiday Inn's Asher Travis said.

Storms like Isidore always put events in jeopardy; luckily the storm hit in the middle of the week. Damage to the tourism industry was minimal, compared to the actual damage, like at the coliseum pier, that us locals, will have to endure and clean up.

"So, as far as timing went having it on Wednesday and Thursday was the best possible time," Travis said.

Had the storm hit, during the weekend, or in the middle of a big convention or event, the slight dip in tourism would have been more like a free fall.

"Now looking forward to the weekend after next, if Lili or Kyle comes in during 'Crusin' the Coast' it will be a drastic impact on us," Travis said.

An impact which would be certainly tough to afford.

By Nathan Mihelich

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