(WKBN) – For many looking forward to summer vacations, Florida is the place to be. But between the red tide algae bloom and seaweed heading toward the coast, many are rethinking their destinations.
Burning eyes and breathing problems are plaguing Florida tourists as a result of the red tide, and the Associated Press reports the toxic algae bloom could stick around on the state’s southwest coast for quite a while.
Local travel agent Kathy Pahanish says March is early for the red tide and people are rethinking their vacations.
“A lot of our destinations that are exotic destinations have reaped the benefits because people are moving more towards Aruba where they are not known for the seaweed tide,” she said.
The decision for many is an easy one. While the cost of a sunny Florida vacation is down compared to last year, it’s nowhere near a pre-pandemic price point.
“The prices in our eye in Florida have gone up to where now you can go to Aruba and it’s not that much more,” Pahanish said.
With a giant blob of seaweed also heading toward Florida’s shores, it doesn’t sound like there’s much incentive to be in the Sunshine State. However, Pahanish said these issues can come and go and to anticipate hiccups on any vacation.
“You can go on vacation and have three perfect days and four that is seaweed two feet high. It’s unpredictable,” Pahanish said.
After the devastation of recent hurricanes, Pahanish says many are canceling because their vacation homes haven’t been rebuilt. Not all her clients are canceling, though.
“You have people that, especially in Florida, where they have a lot of families so it’s a dual purpose,” she said.