Travel group seeks $500 million to boost Gulf tourism in wake of oil spill

The head of the U.S. Travel Association is proposing that BP set aside $500 million for a marketing campaign to help draw tourists to the Gulf Coast.

Association president and CEO Roger Dow has made the proposal in prepared testimony to a House panel looking at the oil spill's impact on tourism.

Dow says in his remarks that a study his group commissioned found the spill could result in lost tourism in coastal areas to the tune of $22.7 billion over three years. He says the $500 million could come from either $20 billion BP has set aside to pay for economic damages or could be added to it.

The New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau made a similar proposal last month.