Could Arizona’s passage of a new immigration law spark a travel bonanza that could result in more travel-related business? It’s a question that a growing number of people are asking since Arizona’s passage last week of a law that promises real enforcement of existing immigration laws.
When it takes effect, Arizona’s immigration law will allow local law enforcement to question people’s immigration status, untying the hands of law enforcement from so-called “sanctuary city” policies that protect illegal immigrants. Interest is running high on both sides of the issue. One small example of how heated the debate is: In the roughly day and a half since USA TODAY posted a recent blog post on the issue, fully 4481 readers have submitted comments.
As for how or if the law will affect people’s travel habits, let’s look at some of the comments in question. Of the first 10 comments I read, the only ones that expressed an opinion about their travel plans were supportive of the law — and indicated the commenter’s desire to spend more travel dollars in Arizona. From this clear pattern, I sense a growing and significant approval of the new law — one that may well result in significant increased revenue for tourism-related businesses in the state.
For example, in the first 10 comments I read, golfballtx wrote: “Arizona here we come! Golf and good times!” clroger wrote: “I am visiting Arizona this summer. Thx Arizona!!” retatee wrote: “Three cheers for Arizona! I’ll try to visit as soon as possible.” NC Gentleman wrote: “After this law passes I am changing my vacation plans and I am going to the great state of Arizona. I refuse to go to California to get robbed by illegals.”
From this, I conclude that a growing an unstoppable wave of increased tourism dollars to Arizona is a very distinct possibility.
If this method of analysis sounds questionable or unscientific to you, take it up with Barbara De Lollis, the author of the USA Today blog post whose comments section I am quoting from. De Lollis’s profile says: “Barbara De Lollis has covered business travel for USA TODAY since 2002. She speaks directly to the hotel industry’s biggest names and taps the insider knowledge of the country’s savvy road warriors.” Her blog post is titled Arizona immigration law backlash? Traveler says state “is off my travel list for sure” and begins with this passage:
Could Arizona’s passage of a harsh immigration law spark a travel backlash that could result in less travel-related business? It’s a question that a growing number of people are asking since Arizona’s passage last week of the USA’s toughest immigration law.
If you’re paying attention, you will recognize this “a growing number of people are suggesting it may very well be so” sort of tone in the beginning of my blog post, which was a parody of De Lollis’s post.
What is Ms. De Lollis’s evidence of a possible travel backlash? Well, I have to admit it’s pretty overwhelming. To wit:
A single Twitter message.
As for how or if the law will affect peoples’ travel habits, Houston-based Twitter follower @Renard98 said in a reply tweet that “AZ is off my travel list for sure” for both business travel and leisure travel.
A frequent traveler, @Renard98 said he doesn’t have anything planned at the moment but “loves” to visit Tuscon and Scottsdale.
Well! If @Renard98 says he’s changing his plans, you can take that to the bank, baby! He’ll be changing his plans, or his name’s not @Renard98!
(Which, by the way, it pretty much certainly isn’t.)
Warner Todd Huston, who flagged this at Big Journalism, says: ‘This is the way the Old Media fans the flames of a story to spin it to their agenda.”
That’s exactly right. And a growing number of people agree with me — as the comments below will no doubt prove.
UPDATE: Another reason to go to Arizona: you won’t see Linda Greenhouse.