With respect to the article back in January, “Snowbirds: We love you!* * Except when you annoy us,” we get the message loud and clear. You like our money, but if we could just mail you a check instead of showing up and disrupting your lives, that would be preferable.
We understand: We are incompetent drivers; our accents are incomprehensible to you; we are difficult customers; we don’t tip enough; we clog your restaurants; we contribute to your highway congestion, etc. Given all these difficulties that you experience, I have a few suggestions.
Stop spending money on tourism promotion; instead provide the funds to Mexico, Spain and the Caribbean so they can attract these tourists where they are wanted and needed. Stop providing financial assistance to airports promoting new flights and carriers; instead, spend your taxpayers’ money blocking new transportation options for tourists.
Stop being so polite and welcoming in your stores and restaurants (actually, some places have that pretty much under control). Enact an open-carry law to instill fear in tourists (underway). Increase coverage of drive-by shootings and road-rage incidents in your media (should come naturally as the number of incidents increase). Raise your sales tax (underway). Drive offensively (done).
Pretty soon, the only attraction for snowbirds will be the weather, and El Niño can help with that. You see, this is all manageable, and with a little luck and some hard work, the problem can be solved — and you can get back to the good old days of 2008.
And, you should remove all accolades to Henry Flagler. Based on what a problem tourism is here, he has indeed done a great disservice to the state of Florida.
DOUG SMITH, FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA