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Florida tourism campaign attempts to quell oil worries

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KEY WEST, Fla. — Florida tourism officials are taking to the airwaves to try and combat worries over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

KEY WEST, Fla. — Florida tourism officials are taking to the airwaves to try and combat worries over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association is running radio advertisements across the U.S. that say “our coast is clean and our beaches are open.” It’s also running a full-page ad in USA Today with a similar message.

Association president Carol Dover says those in the tourism industry need to “do everything we can” to combat the image that Florida has been affected by the spill.

She said Panhandle businesses have suffered a roughly 30 percent drop and that hotels in the Florida Keys are beginning to see a decrease in new bookings.

Oil from the five-week-old spill has washed into the marshes of Lousiana but not hit the other Gulf states.