A nonprofit group that markets Newport Beach apologized for a Tweet that urged travelers to “avoid the chaos” at Los Angeles International Airport and head to the beach town just hours after the deadly shooting Friday.
The handler of the beach town’s Twitter account, Visit Newport Beach Inc., quickly apologized after sending a Tweet at 12:32 p.m. Friday that read, “Heading out of town on a weekend getaway via #LAX? Avoid the chaos and make it a beach vacation here in #NewportBeach.”
The Tweet came about three hours after 23-year-old Paul Ciancia allegedly shot and killed 39-year-old Transportation Security Administration agent Gerardo I. Hernandez and wounded several others.
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Newport Beach Inc. has since hired public relations firm Kitchen Table Marketing and said Monday that they were working on a statement regarding the Tweet. Calls from NBC4 to Kitchen Table Marketing were not returned by time of publication.
After followers questioned the now-removed Tweet, Visit Newport Beach Inc. Tweeted an apology, saying they hadn’t seen the update of the fatal shooting and were focusing on reports of closures and people stuck at the airport.
“It’s ultimately our fault to rush something out without finding all the facts. We wouldn’t intentionally do this i assure you,” the group Tweeted Friday.
Visit Newport Beach Inc. is funded through the city’s Transient Occupancy Tax, as well as the Tourism Business Improvement District, according to the non-profit’s website.
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