Arizona immigration law: boycotts starting to take a toll
Boycotts from Mexico and several US cities aren't likely to throw Arizona back into a recession, but the fallout from the Arizona immigration law is hurting some businesses in the short term.
(Page 2 of 2)
US cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and St. Paul, Minn., have banned official travel to Arizona, saying the state immigration law might lead to racial profiling. Mexico has also issued a "travel alert" for the area.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures The scene at the US/Mexico border
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Phoenix officials have estimated that they will lose $90 million during the next five years in the hotel and convention center business. Statewide, the Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association recorded 23 meetings and conventions canceled – an estimated $10 million hit – before it stopped keeping track, spokeswoman Kristen Jarnagin says.
Cancellations are still coming in but people are not giving reasons, “probably because they prefer to stay out of the controversy,” she says.
She adds that reservations, which groups normally book one to three years in advance, also are down: “The phone is not ringing.”
Ms. Jarnagin says the boycotts are hurting the wrong people. “Our hope is that people can separate tourism from the politicians,” she says.
Border towns become ghost towns
In the border town of Nogales, where Mexican visitors are vital to the local economy, heightened security measures had already slowed the flow of daily border-crossers who shop in Arizona. But more recently, the local chamber of commerce has had to launch a campaign to promote its businesses in Mexico after a recent two-day boycott by Mexican shoppers left streets deserted.
A total of 3.8 million visitors to Arizona came from Mexico in 2008, according to the Arizona Office of Tourism.
- Arizona immigration law and illegal immigrants: state of extremes
- L.A. vs. Arizona: Who wins in immigration law dust-up?
- After Arizona, why are 10 states considering immigration bills?