The oil spill catastrophe in the Gulf has devastated the area tourism industry, one of the main engines of the local economy. Area tourism boards and other groups have offered deals in the hopes of keeping the industry alive, but now a major player is getting into the act. Orbitz customers with standalone hotel reservations along the Gulf Coast can receive a full refund for unused hotel nights if beaches within 20 miles of their hotel are closed. Orbitz will automatically notify you of any such closures, at which point you can decide to take the refund or proceed with your trip.
To be eligible, customers must have booked a hotel reservation (not part of a package) with a participating property on Orbitz for a stay from June 14 through July 31. For a list of participating properties, click here.
Orbitz has set up a dedicated page for the refund offer, including links to relevant government agencies, a map of the oil slick's projected trajectory, the aforementioned list of participating hotels, and links to volunteer opportunities.
For more information on the oil spill and how it might affect your travels to the Gulf region, check out Sarah Pascarella's The Oil Spill and Tourism: What You Need to Know.
Readers, do you have plans to visit the Gulf? If so, are you thinking about canceling? If not, would you consider going?