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Study Shows How Much of an Impact Red Tide Had on Sanibel, Captiva Tourism

9:00 AM, Oct 18, 2018

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Tamika Cody

Red tide has impacted a lot of Southwest Florida people this year. Businesses. Hotels. Visitors. New numbers from the Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce show just how much of an impact it had.

Study Shows How Much of an Impact Red Tide Had on Sanibel, Captiva Tourism

“I have had three tables today and normally this time of year I’d be 10 plus,” Jay Sommers at The Sanibel Fish House said.

Jay Sommers is a manager at The Sanibel Fish House. Their sales over the summer have been down between 40 and 60 percent.

“Hundreds of thousands of dollars for just this business and every other business on Sanibel Island is either a restaurant, real estate, shopping plaza,” Somme's said. “So it pretty much affected every other building on Sanibel Captiva.”

The chamber of commerce recently completed a study that said the island lost almost $27 million in revenue over the summer.

Nearly $17 million in losses was at golf courses, marinas, charter fishing guides, photographers and others.

Comparatively that’s down almost 70 percent from last year. The study also said the island lost almost $7 million more in hotel cancellations and food sales.

But as the water clears, their hope gets brighter.

“As soon as our water has cleared up, and it has started to,” Sommers said. “The red tide is subsiding from October 12th, our county is red tide free so let’s hope people start coming back.”

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