Holidaymakers from the UK are returning to Alabama and Florida despite damage to southern States image following the Gulf of Mexico Oil Disaster in April. Speaking at WTM, the director of Alabama Tourism, Lee Sentell, predicted Alabama would have a good year in 2011 and said that reservations were already up. Meanwhile, Florida also felt the economic impact but needed to work harder to recoup losses through honesty, according to Visit Florida chief marketing officer Will Seccombe. “Media created tremendous misconceptions and we need to embrace the same technology used to portray the images and really be transparent to be seen as the trusted source for travel information” Seccombe added. “Florida is a very powerful destination worldwide and the sustainability question becomes more important going forward but we have to be open and honest and use the technology to address these issues as they come up.” In Alabama in particular, Baldwin county, which has 42 miles of beaches, saw revenue drop 33 percent year-on-year for the five months between May and September. “We were on track to be 15 percent up after the hurricanes and economic situation, this was going to be ‘the’ year,” Sentell added.