The National Tour Association's (NTA) Board of Directors voted unanimously to oppose the tourism boycott of Arizona based on the enactment of Arizona’s new immigration law, which allows law enforcement officials to seek proof of legal presence from individuals considered to be possible illegal immigrants. The new law has prompted a national reaction, including support for a tourism boycott of Arizona by many organizations.
“Boycotting a state or any other destination as a reaction to public policy is the wrong way to effect change,” said NTA President Lisa Simon. “Our board believes that the boycott will hurt the livelihood of thousands of travel and tourism employees and businesses; people who have no direct role in this new policy. As of 2008, travel spending in Arizona generated a total impact of 310,000 jobs, with direct travel spending accounting for almost 167,000 of those. Putting even a small percentage of these jobs at risk would be punitive. National figures suggest that one job could be eliminated by the loss of just 80 room nights.”
The employment, earnings and tax revenues generated by travel spending are relatively more important for the non-urban areas of the state, than for the more urbanized areas of greater Phoenix and Tucson according to a 2008 Arizona Travel Impacts study.
Any travel boycotts enacted to change public policy are opposed by NTA due to the potential impact on the lives of travel and tourism employees and the businesses which employ them. NTA believes that the issue itself should be resolved through public discussion, legislative policy decisions and elections.