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More Economic Fallout for Arizona Immigration Law

Boycotts protesting Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law could affect the state’s tourism industry for years, with contracts for future conventions falling through now, tourism industry groups are warning.

“I think in the coming year or two we will probably see the biggest effects because … the people who have contracts that they are about to sign or are in negotiations … are the ones who are backing off,” Debbie Johnson of the Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association told an Arizona TV station yesterday.

Of course, the Arizona tourism industry likely would have been hurting even without SB 1070: In 2009, overnight business travel and direct travel expenditures each dropped in the state by about 10 percent, according to figures from the Arizona Office of Tourism.

Still, it’s something the state seems to take seriously. The tourism office awarded a $100,000 contract to a public relations firm to try to repair its image.

It may not be concrete evidence, but talk of economic fallout from SB 1070 seems likely to come up again as other states consider copycat immigration legislation during their next legislative sessions. Economic arguments against harsh immigration laws have become popular among those who oppose such laws in other states.

*Note: The original source for this story provided an incorrect value for the contract awarded by the Arizona Office of Tourism. The post has been updated to reflect the change. *

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