U.S. travelers generally don’t support controversial bathroom or other discriminatory bills that have sprung up in states like North Carolina and Texas but many travelers will still visit impacted states even if harmful legislation is in effect.
That’s according to an online survey from Destinations International (formerly Destinations Marketing Association International) which surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. travelers in May 2017 for their thoughts on how laws that discriminates against certain groups such as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) or various racial communities, for example, impacts their decision to travel to these states.
Respondents were ages 21 and older and had traveled outside their home state at least once during the past year or planned to do so in the coming 12 months. The survey asked travelers to consider legislation in North Carolina, Arizona, Indiana, Tennessee and Mississippi that have played out over the past decade.
As the United States becomes increasingly polarized along the political spectrum and certain social issues gain more national attention, Destinations International asked travelers how calls for travel boycotts, or efforts that encourage travelers to avoid travel to a state, impact their decision to travel, and found the results were mixed. Some 39 percent of respondents said they support travel boycotts, 40 percent oppose them, and 22 percent said they have no opinion.
Some 57 percent of respondents said they were familiar with at least one of the proposed boycotts and pieces of legislation. But, despite headlines and media attention these bills tend to receive, that means a considerable swath of U.S travelers haven’t heard of these issues.
Still, survey data show the net negative impact from awareness of these controversial bills is about 23 percent (see chart below) as one-third of respondents said they’re less likely to travel and only one in ten say they’re more likely to visit a bathroom…