Convention and visitor bureaus across North Carolina are worried that the state’s recently-passed anti-LGBT law could cost the state’s booming tourism industry millions of dollars, according to Travel + Leisure.
Business leaders look with concern to the 2015 controversy that engulfed Indiana following the state’s passage of a so-called “religious liberty” bill. The law prompted outcry from the business community and generated significant attention in the national press. According to the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, the city lost more than $60 million just in convention business because of the controversy. They also predicted that more than 1,000 leisure trips were cancelled in the spring and summer of 2015 due to the bill.
The recently-passed legislation in North Carolina, unfortunately, is broader in scope than what was passed in Indiana and has attracted equal, if not more, media coverage and business opposition. And unlike Indiana, which quickly passed a legislative “fix” to address discrimination concerns by the LGBT community, state leaders in North Carolina have doubled down in their support for the current legislation. The negative economic impact to North Carolina could thus be significantly worse than what was seen in Indiana.