Destinations

La Raza Lifts Arizona Boycott

The National Council of La Raza has lifted the boycott of Arizona that it called for last year to protest the state's then-new immigration law.

The CVB reports:

La Raza announced the decision on Sept. 9 in a letter to the Real Arizona Coalition, a diverse collection of businesses, interfaith groups and community leadership organizations — including the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau — that had asked for the boycott to be lifted. 

In its letter to the Real Arizona Coalition, La Raza stated: ” … We understand and appreciate the reasons why you believe the boycott should end. In that vein, we are also aware of the hardship it has imposed on many of the workers, businesses, and organizations whose interests we seek to advance. We are hopeful that the more respectful and civil tone that you and many others have worked so hard to establish in recent months will continue. 

“In that spirit, effective immediately, our three organizations will suspend the boycott and cease all efforts to discourage conventions or meetings in Arizona, or to discourage our partners from participating in such meetings. In addition, we will communicate our decision to our allies and partners who supported the boycott in the hope that they will join us.”

In its own statement, the Greater Phoenix CVB said:

“The lifting of the boycott is clearly a step in the right direction. It acknowledges that illegal immigration is not just an Arizona issue but a national one, and it makes it easier for our community to get back to the business of booking conventions.”

It’s unclear how much the widespread calls for boycotting Arizona ended up costing the Grand Canyon State in lost or canceled meetings business. A report from the Center for American Progress last fall — which we reported on in Convene — estimated it could be more than $200 million in direct spending.

Christopher Durso

Christopher Durso is executive editor of Convene.