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Overall, South Florida Hotels not Severely Impacted by Tropical Storm Isaac

By Doreen Hemlock, Sun SentinelMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Aug. 28, 2012--For some South Florida hotels, Tropical Storm Isaac meant extra guests, as visitors could not board planned cruises.

For others, the storm meant a few cancellations by guests who could not fly in.

But overall, Isaac had no major impact on area hotels and tourism, with properties up and running as usual, travel leaders said Monday.

The impact on business would be have been greater if the storm had come during the upcoming Labor Day weekend, a busier time for vacationers and travel, executives said.

The 373-room Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina hotel saw some extra guests from Isaac, mainly because of changes in cruise schedules. The giant Allure of the Seas ship, which attracts many international travelers, for example, did not sail Sunday from Port Everglades and was to depart Tuesday.

Other Broward hotels had some arrivals delayed by canceled flights.

Still, many attractions remained open during the storm, including Sawgrass Mills mall which hosted shoppers Sunday, according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Travel leaders said they did not expect news coverage of Isaac to have any long-term impact on South Florida tourism. The coverage did not single out the area for a direct hit and instead showed that the storm brought wind and rain but caused no significant damage, executives said.

Indeed, online and social media tools now allow people to stay informed in real time, improving information for travelers, said Jorge Pesquera, president of the Palm Beach County travel bureau.

Some Palm Beach County hotels are receiving new bookings for Labor Day weekend, with few vacancies left, suggesting Isaac did not hurt intentions to visit the area this weekend, said Pesquera.

dhemlock@tribune.com, 305-810-5009

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(c)2012 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at www.sun-sentinel.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services



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