The tourism industry promoters are working overtime, first trying to convince Americans that it’s safe — not to go back into the water — to get back out and travel.
Sure, they urge us, even if the gas prices haven’t dropped significantly by Memorial Day, they are sure to drop anytime soon, so if you have to spend a huge amount to go on an early summer trip, it’s OK. You’ll make it up driving to work the rest of the summer.
Provided, of course, you still have a job. And a car. And can buy gas.
Because stuff’s not turning around the way they had hoped.
In fact, prices are only going one way currently and that isn’t down.
Already, the tourism industry of the Gulf Coast, which was hoping to start to dig out of the money hole it fell into with last year’s oil spill, sees that this vacation season just isn’t shaping up well at all.
According to a recent Associated Press report: “Resorts, restaurants, casinos and charter fishermen say the pricey trips could keep some travelers away, though it could also keep vacationers in the South closer to home.
“High gas prices could leave many who do make the trip looking for ways to save money — whether it’s cutting vacations by a day or skipping restaurant trips.”
The good news is, there’s plenty to see and do close to home, for us.
There are historic sites, natural wonders, parks and zoos, hiking and biking trails, shopping, all sorts of things.
We may not have the beaches of California, but we do have some very nice lakes within driving distance.
And the money that would be saved by buying all that $4-per-gallon gas will go a long way towards a nicer motel, or a better dinner out, or a longer shopping spree.
There’s a lot to be said for vacationing right here in Kansas — especially this year.