School officials in a Florida county said they were concerned about terrorism when they decided to keep a high school band from marching in a London parade, and now British officials are telling travelers that Fort Myers is no safe haven, either.
Local officials fear that the dispute could cost Lee County, where Fort Myers is situated, millions in lost tourism dollars.
The Fort Myers High School band was invited to march in London’s 2007 New Year’s Day parade, but district administrators rejected the trip, citing the threat of terrorism in Europe.
“Perhaps the superintendent is being overly cautious in this regard,” said Florida’s governor, Jeb Bush.
Parade officials in London planned to issue a statement to the media warning British travelers about Fort Myers’s crime and homicide rates, Lee County’s record number of traffic deaths in 2005 and the danger of “catastrophic hurricanes.”