Landrieu asks BP to pay for losses

July 27 2010 | Latest News
Mayor Landrieu has asked BP to help repair the damage that has been done.


Reported by: Val Bracy, Reporter

The Commerce Department's tourism advisory board met in New Orleans Monday to discuss the impact oil has on the city's largest industry.

"Even in an area that has not suffered physical, biological damage, New Orleans, we are projecting approximately 10 percent potential losses over the next, could be anywhere from 12 months to a number of years," said Stephen Perry of the Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The city wants BP to pony up $75 million to market New Orleans as a travel destination and to repair the negative image cast by the oil spill.

"We have market surveys that show people around the country think the city of New Orleans has oil in it," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

The city asked BP for the money a month ago but the company has not responded.

"It is systematic of the new attitude BP has adopted in the last couple of weeks, which seems to be since the well is capped they think the job is over," said Landrieu.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke says the federal government is aware of the city's request and is trying to help New Orleans get the money.

"We need to make sure BP understands that the money they've put forward so far to the individual states has already been spent and the effort to continually market and inform the people of the United States and the world that most of the beaches are not affected by oil, that this is a great place to vacation," said Locke.

Landrieu says he's prepared to file suit if BP doesn't pay.

"If you get up front on this, if you market the appropriate way and visitors come back, you increase the occupancy level and you minimize the damage long term," said Landrieu.

Landrieu says BP an either pay now or pay later, when tourism industry businesses decide to sue for their losses.