By Tampa Bay Business Journal

Gov. Charlie Crist has contacted BP to reiterate Floridaâ¿¿s need for additional tourism marketing and advertising dollars following the denial of his June 30 request for $50 million.

BP in May awarded Florida $25 million for tourism marketing and advertising to counteract negative perceptions surrounding the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Florida directed nearly half of this funding to local tourism entities, Crist said in a letter to Doug Suttles, chief operating officer for exploration and production for BP America Inc., issued Wednesday.

Visit St. Petersburg Clearwater, which received $1.15 million for its summer marketing campaign, was among the recipients.

Northwest Florida counties and gulf coast counties are asking for additional funds, Crist said.

Crist cited a June 12 presentation in which Darryl Willis, BPâ¿¿s head of claims, said tourism and marketing requests should come from Florida government officials and not from local governments.

Crist cited a discussion with Lamar McKay, president of BP America, in which McKay said money should be spent on an immediate marketing campaign and that Crist should ask for more money if he needed it.

The original $25 million had to be expended by Aug. 18 under the agreement with BP, but the spillâ¿¿s economic burden continues, Crist said.

⿿We are looking for the quickest, most efficient way to provide assistance to impacted counties,⿝ he said.

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Copyright 2010