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My 2 cents on the AZ meeting boycott April 28, 2010

Posted by Roger Rickard in Advocacy, Uncategorized.
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Whether one perceives the merits of Arizona SB 1070 as good or bad, one should not prompt a cause of action against the hospitality industry. I am not taking a position on the merits of the law – my only position is that again our industry is chosen as the whipping boy for all political recourse. The travel industry didn’t take a position one way or another, for or against this legislation; but again the attacks begin with an industry that has historically embraced the involvement of foreigners.  

Congressman Raul Grijalva’s, D – AZ (AZ – 7th District), is simply out of bounds in his call for a boycott, it can only add fuel to the economic fire of an industry already in economic chaos. The tourism and hospitality industry provides great opportunities both in economic and job growth.  Check out the Arizona 7th Congressional District map http://bit.ly/bhw3oL  and you will see that his call for a boycott of meetings and conventions will not have an impact on the people of his district. This district encompasses the southwest region of Arizona, has one of the largest geographic areas for US Air Force fighter jet training and is the home of seven Native American sovereign nations. To be clear, this district is not the hot bed of meeting and convention activity.

One only needs to remember the attacks on meetings and conventions by federal representatives last year to realize that we have to be vigilant in our position that meetings mean business.  We have a voice and we need to begin speaking up to protect ourselves. This boycott has ramifications across the business travel industry.