Shark Sighting a Profitable but Risky Business: Report

Shark Sighting a Profitable but Risky Business: Report

According to owners of Florida Air Tours who take customers for rides over the Space Coast, they take customers in biplane or helicopter for rides but they get hardly any customers who ask for seeing sharks. They say it is a risky business altogether. But there are some communities that think it is a lucrative business.

Mark Grainger, owner of Florida Air Tours, said he can guarantee his customers that they can see a manatee or dolphin but it is very rare that they can see shark. He said sharks are doubtlessly one area which local authorities are not looking to exploit. The tourism industry makes about $2.8 billion every year from tourists who come for swimming and playing across the Brevard Country's coastline of 72 miles.

Capt. Rob Modys, who runs SoulMate Charters' fishing trips out of Fish Tale Marina, Fort Myers Beach said shark sighting is still a profitable business despite the numerous risks involved.

Abraham Pizam, dean of the University of Central Florida's Rosen College of Hospitality Management and author of "Tourism, Security, and Safety", said consistent and repeating cases of shark bite can hinder the tourism growth.

He said some of the communities want to turn shark sighting into a tourism business in Florida. He added that seeing a shark in Florida waters is a tougher compared to other regions, as sharks appear rarely here.

Jim Ridenour, a member of the Brevard County Tourism Development Council, said for the last ten years he is working with the council, he has hardly seen any shark on the surface water. He said it is of no use to put warning sign boards at the beaches as the shark attacks are rare in the region.

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