Short memories, good news

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It's great news for the tourism business that most travelers have short memories. Following particularly rough hurricane seasons in the Southeast or a rash of wildfires in the West, pundits like to say that these events won't hurt tourism because travelers, especially vacationers, tend to forget about bad news in a year or two.

It turns out that the pundits are right. Tourism officials in Florida recently announced that visits to the Sunshine State were up five percent during the just-concluded hurricane season (actually the figures covered July 1 to September 30, the heart of the season, and were compared to the same time period in '06.)

After a rough storm season two years ago (remember Katrina?), the state and Southeast have enjoyed two quiet years for hurricanes. And sure enough, travelers seemed to forget the past in order to visit Mickey, South Beach, the Panhandle and the state's other attractions.

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