Brewer sets up task force to battle boycotts vs. Az
Gov. Jan Brewer will launch a new task force designed to reverse tourism boycotts against Arizona in wake of the state's new immigration law.
A group of tourism officials met to discuss ways to put a better face on the state. Their first efforts are due in about a month.
"It's up to us to get the truth out there. This is impacting Arizona's face to the nation," Brewer said in the Arizona Republic.
Not only its face, but its bank balance.
In 2008, the state took in $18.5 billion in visitor spending. As a result of SB 1070 signed in April - but not in effect until July 29 - convention bookers, entertainers and industry groups have canceled plans to come to Arizona or announced they'll bypass the state in favor of others.
El Tour de Tucson, one of Tucson's biggest events, also is in jeopardy.
"El Tour could possibly go out of business," El Tour de Tucson founder Richard DeBernardis told KOLD.
While the state's hotels had a good first quarter, tourism officials are waiting to see what impact the various boycotts will have, according to KTAR.
"We were really feeling like this was going to be our year of recovery and it was a little faster than we expected it to be, but we're hitting a little bump in the road," said Kristin Jarnagin of the Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association.
But cities and states could run a risk by boycotting the state. A new poll by Rasmussen Reports found that 68 percent of U.S. voters think the boycotts are a bad idea and 40 percent would avoid doing business with groups and communities punishing the state.