Boycott Over Arizona Immigrant Law Cost $141 Million, Study Says

A business boycott of Arizona over its immigration law may have cost the state’s economy as much as $141 million, a Washington-based policy group estimated.

Convention bookings for July and August fell 35 percent from a year earlier, cutting lodging revenue by $45 million, the Center for American Progress said in a report today. Lost spending on food, beverages, entertainment, local transportation and retail goods brought the total cost to $141 million, the report said.

The boycott is aimed at an Arizona law requiring police officers to determine the immigration status of people stopped for questioning. The state’s credit may be affected if the boycott harms tourism, Moody’s Investors Service said in May. In July, Moody’s cut the state one level to Aa3, its fourth-highest credit rank, citing “economic and financial weakness.”

“This significant hit to direct visitor spending could not come at a worse economic time for Arizona,” said the report by the policy group founded by former Clinton administration chief of staff John Podesta in 2003. The center describes itself as a critic of conservative values and a supporter of the progressive movement.

Tourists spent $16.6 billion last year in Arizona, where the travel industry supports 157,000 jobs, the state Office of Tourism said July 15.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ashley Lutz in New York at alutz@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at mtannen@bloomberg.net

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