, WASHINGTON, Aug 13 – President Barack Obama is to travel to Florida\’s Gulf Coast this weekend for a family trip intended to show solidarity with a region struggling in the wake of a massive oil spill.
Obama, his wife Michelle, and their two daughters are to leave Washington Saturday for Panama City, a popular seaside tourist spot that saw its beaches fouled by tar balls from the oil spill.
During the height of the spill, unleashed by an explosion aboard a BP-leased oil rig April 20, Obama urged his fellow Americans not to abandon the Gulf Coast, and to continue taking vacations in the region, which is heavily dependent on visitor revenue.
His weekend getaway is intended to highlight the region\’s tourist attractions, but will leave him with little time for relaxation.
In addition to making public remarks on the region\’s recovery, his schedule includes a roundtable meeting with local business leaders and entrepreneurs to discuss the effects of the spill.
He is scheduled to return to Washington on Sunday, the White House said.
The First Family are scheduled to vacation this month in Martha\’s Vineyard, a beautiful island off Massachusetts in the US northeast.
The week after his Florida sojourn, Obama is scheduled for a multi-stop trip around the United States, starting in Wisconsin, where he is to visit factories specializing in renewable energy production and fundraise for the Democratic party.
Monday evening will see him in Los Angeles for another fundraising event, before he heads on Tuesday to the northwestern state of Washington, for a meeting on health care reform in Seattle, the White House said.