Thursday, May 13, 2010

When Oil and Water Do Mix: A Sanibel Lodging Perspective

Although the oil spill is still far away from the pristine island of Sanibel, it is on the minds of everyone devastated by this disaster and wondering what next?

The efforts made thus far, do not seem to be working and the conversations about stopping off shore drilling need to be of more frequency and greater volume.

There is an excellent post about oil clean up alternatives at the Sanibel Sea School blog. In the post by Doc Bruce, he questions the very terminology "oil spill" with these words:

"I do know that we should stop calling it an oil ‘spill’. Over 200,000 gallons of oil are pouring into the Gulf of Mexico each day. The size of the surface oil slick has tripled in the past few days; it is larger than the state of Rhode Island. Broken pipes are spewing 8,300 gallons of oil in to the Gulf each hour – 138 gallons per minute. This is hardly a spill."

And he goes on to dissect the various, and seemingly bad, alternatives to clean up.

Though the situation is distressing to say the very least, and I am both worried about the environment short and long term, I also wonder if the spill does ever reach the Island the impact it will have on the economy as well as the impact it will have on the ecology. Sanibel really has no industry and the Island's financial health rests to a large degree on tourism. Vacation Rental agencies and offices are already amending their cancellation policies in the event that the "spill" reaches Sanibel Island, so rental guests can be assured that should the spill arrive and beaches officially closed, they will be refunded all but the reservation fee for their paid in full stay before arrival or unused portion of monies paid after arrival.

That, hopefully, is of some consolation to travelers, though not to
vacation rental owners, managers and the like.

One glimmer of hope regarding the possibility of oil reaching Sanibel shores is the merge of business with pleasure. There will be fewer vacationers if this happens, but there will, I must assume, be a sizable number of environmentalists, engineers, health care professionals and others assisting who will need to be on the Island.

One way this cross over of population can be facilitated is through the newly formed partnership of a vacation rental Facebook application, and a corporate housing web portal,
Second Porch and today announced a partnership to distribute and enable thousands of furnished rental property listings from to be seen and accessible via Second Porch’s integrated Facebook application and social vacation rental marketplace.

This "marriage" should not only enhance the potential for both companies, but for vacation rental owners as well.

I wish them the best, but do pray that this oil disaster is contained and that the relationship and its bearing on Sanibel becomes one of convenience and not one based on catastrophe!


Victorian inn bed and breakfast | Romantic bed and breakfasts said...

It is really good news for us that oil spill is still far away from the pristine island of Sanibel because we will be there in July 2010. “Oil spill” is a disaster sign for beaches, especially for world’s best beaches where lots of travelers visit in every year.

Best Regards,

Samba said...

Hope the beaches stay clean through the summer and that you have a great oil free vacation!