You’ve Seen It On TV; Now, Take The Tour
MIAMI (AP) _ There’s a new hazard in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew’s destruction - camera-pointing gawkers.
Residents of badly hit neighborhoods have complained that their misfortune is treated as a sightseeing attraction. Other residents are angry that out-of- town and even out-of-state visitors are worsening traffic jams and impeding relief efforts.
″All the tourists with their videocameras seem to be enjoying themselves,″ said Cynthia Wooster, a secretary who lives near Perrine.
″The people we would like not to have here are the ones who just want to see it,″ said Florida Highway Patrol Maj. Gene Gracey.
Al Rosenberg, who operates Miami-based All Florida Adventure Tours, said he has seen tour buses ″cruising the neighborhoods″ in the hardest-hit areas. He didn’t recognize the tour names and assumes they aren’t local.
″By no means are we doing it,″ he said.
Rosenberg is planning ″ecotours″ of Andrew’s path. But he said the tours will be geared to learn about nature, not stare at wrecked homes.
The tour will probably go to Everglades National Park, which has been temporarily closed by storm damage, and other parks, farmlands and nurseries.
He doesn’t plan to start his tours until November. ″By then, things should be stabilized.″
He’s gearing the tours toward biologists, students and ″just plain nature lovers,″ Rosenberg said. He will sell the tours to groups, probably charging from $35 to $50 a person, he said.
″We just felt that this was an opportunity for people with a strong interest in nature and biology to see how nature heals itself,″ Rosenberg said.
Barry White, a veteran Miami travel agency owner, said he hasn’t heard of any local travel agents offering tours to the area. But he said he wouldn’t be surprised if they were started.
″We’ve got people visiting here who would like to see it. I don’t find it ghoulish,″ White said. ″You can see it on television. They have press people down there sticking cameras up their noses. Is that less intrusive than a bus driving through?″