On April 20, 2010 a Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. The resulting oil spill affected the economy of the entire Gulf Coast. The coastal States which include Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida rely heavily on tourism and the fishing industry. Both industries took a heavy hit after the explosion but two years later the Gulf Coast is coming back strong.
According to a recent AP news story the charter fishing industry is pretty much back to normal and once again visitors are catching prize Gulf Coast fish. The beaches of the Gulf Coast are once again beginning to attract visitors and according to various sources on the web, it suggests that this year tourism will be better than last year. One of the problems facing the tourism industry in the Gulf Coast is the lack hospitality workers. There is a lot of new construction and facilities and workers are in demand.
It seems that every few years some type of disaster hits the area, from hurricanes to oil spills and tornadoes. But every time the people rebuild, usually bigger and better and keep going on. Having been born in Texas and spent a lot of time on summer vacations traveling the Gulf Coast I can tell you what a great place it is. For those that have not been it is the equivalent of old Route 66 or California’s Pacific Coast Highway.
From small family run restaurants and attractions to beach resorts and casinos the area is a vacation paradise. There are several places where you buy fish and shrimp right off the boats and restaurants offer everything from fresh caught seafood, BBQ, mom and pop cafes, burger joints and fine dining.
With summer closing in fast there are many Gulf Coast Events the entire family will enjoy. Starting on Memorial Day the beaches will be full and the golf courses will be packed with duffers. Throughout the summer the entire region will be putting on various events to attract tourists and with airline prices on the rise for a lot of people the casinos of the Gulf Coast are closer and cheaper to travel to than Las Vegas. The Mississippi Gulf Coast region has more to offer than a lot of people realize, everything from NASA’s Stennis Space Center, the casinos in Biloxi to a 10 day Summer Fest in mid-June.
Music festivals, car shows, fishing tournaments, sporting events, motorcycle rallies and more will serve to bring in the tourists and bring the Gulf Coast back from what was a devastating event just two years ago. I look forward to the next time I can head there, spend some time on the beaches and in the evening find a little seafood restaurant on the water where I can enjoy some fresh shrimp and cold beer.