'The only oil on our beaches is suntan oil,' say Gulf hotels to vacationers

Gulf hotels want you to know 'the only oil on our beaches is suntan oil'
Gulf hotels want you to know 'the only oil on our beaches is suntan oil'

With the official start of summer this week, hotels from Tampa Bay to West Palm Beach, to islands off the Florida coast, to Boca Raton and Biloxi, are looking to catch the free wave of publicity Orbitz received recently for an open beach guarantee that offered to reimburse travelers for hotel costs if oil wrecked their beach vacation.

Seeking to lure customers back to Florida after weeks of bad news about oil gushing from the sunken Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico, Orbitz recently announced that it would refund a customer's hotel costs if a government agency closed a beach -- or declared it dangerous -- within 20 miles of the property. Orbitz said bookings are down this summer at Gulf hotels because of concerns about oil.