State Capitol News
10:38 am
Wed August 4, 2010

Organizations Cancelling Trips to State, but Reasons Changing

Phoenix, AZ – Kristen Jarnigan of the Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association
said the first wave came right after Gov. Jan Brewer signed the
state's new immigration law. Those were political protests. But
Jarnigan said the cancellations continue.

(The people who are not booking now, it's not because of
boycotts, it's not because of SB 1070 emotion. It's because of
the controversy. And they don't want to book in a destination
that's could cause them any risk when they can book anywhere else
and not have to worry about it.)

Jarnigan said many meeting planners fear members, with their own
concerns about SB 1070, will stay away. She's heard some of those
herself.

(I got a call this morning from a boy scout troop leader out of
Houston who's bringing his boy scout troops to the Grand Canyon
and was concerned because nine of them are Hispanic and he didn't
know if he needed to carry their birth certificates. And he was
worried for his kids.)

And then there are other concerns spurred by things like comments
by the governor on national TV about headless bodies in the
desert.

(It certainly doesn't help us attract more visitors.)

Jarnigan said 40 conferences have been cancelled, costing $15
million in direct hotel billings. And that doesn't count what
visitors would have spent on food, entertainment or souvenirs
while here. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.