Emails pour into visitors bureau from tourists boycotting Asheville

Tourists from as far as Canada have contacted the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau saying they are canceling vacations and plans to retire in Asheville because of HB-2 otherwise known as the Bathroom bill.

"What we've been seeing falls into a couple of categories," Stephanie Brown, director of the Convention and Visitor's Bureau, said. "Some concerns for safety, but primarily people are expressing a statement about not wanting to spend money in North Carolina."

Brown says the Bureau has received upwards of 55 emails.


Asheville conference estimated to have $1.5 million impact canceled due to HB2

Kellogg Foundation: ". .. with the state's recent passage of an anti-LGBT law, we issued a statement emphasizing our disappointment with North Carolina's failure to protect all human rights. As a result, we are canceling this four-day conference which would have brought over 500 people to North Carolina and generated millions of dollars in economic activity for the state's local economy. The event will now be held in December and in a different state. "

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NC and MS See Tourist Backlash after LGBT Laws

While the celebrity response is drawing considerable attention, the travel industry in each state is more concerned about lower-profile visitors: the everyday tourists who have already begun canceling trips or planning vacations elsewhere.

Both states have been hit by hotel cancellations from tourists who spend a combined tens of billions of dollars annually, and though the effect is difficult to quantify so early on, local hotels, tourist boards, industry associations and government officials fear that a boycott will continue to dampen business. Making matters tougher for the businesses, the Foreign Office in Britain has issued an advisory for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender travelers going to the two states based on the laws.


Victim assistance organization cancels Charlotte event because of HB2

Another group has canceled an upcoming event in Charlotte because it opposes North Carolina’s new LGBT law. The National Organization for Victim Assistance was supposed to have its 42nd annual training event at Sheraton Charlotte Hotel-Le Meridien Aug. 21-24.About 1,200 were scheduled to attend the nonprofit’s event, FOX 46 Charlotte reported Thursday. The event equated to about 1,516 room nights in the city, NOVA’s director told the news channel. 

NOVA’s director added that he hopes to have the training event in Charlotte once House Bill 2 is overturned, FOX 46 reports.


United Kingdom issues travel warning for LGBT travelers to NC

In the wake of House Bill 2’s passage, the British Foreign Office has issued a travel advisory to warn its LGBT citizens of the new laws in North Carolina and Mississippi.

“The U.S. is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards LGBT people differ hugely across the country,” the advisory says. “LGBT travelers may be affected by legislation passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi."


HB2 could cost Durham $1 million convention

House Bill 2, which has already cost this summer’s Festival for the Eno its Grammy-winning headliner, could now cost the Bull City a $1 million convention.

In October, leaders from companies that include Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s and Etsy planned to visit Durham for the annual gathering of B Corporation CEOs and executives, a series of related talks and a street festival.

But last week officials from B Lab, the nonprofit that certifies and supports B Corps,announced that it would relocate the events out of the state unless HB2 is repealed by June 30.

“That is huge,” said Shelly Green, Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau CEO and president. The B Corp programs were expected to generate $1 million for local hotels, restaurants and other businesses.


Association for Library Service to Children cancels national event in NC due to HB2

"The Board of Directors of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, voted today to cancel its 2016 National Institute scheduled for September in Charlotte, N.C.

"The cancellation is a response to the passage last month of North Carolina’s Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act (House Bill 2), which repealed all GLBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances across the state. The law contradicts the core values, purpose, and diversity work of ALSC and undermines civil rights and the fundamental principles upon which libraries are founded. While N.C. Governor Pat McCrory did release an executive order last week addressing the controversial HB2, the action does not restore cities’ right to establish local non-discrimination ordinances that apply to the private sector."


Raleigh Chamber of Commerce: HB2 hurting NC economy

"The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce opposes HB2 and calls for its immediate repeal. This legislation is bad for business and bad for North Carolina.... HB2 has already harmed business growth in Wake County and the state of North Carolina’s reputation.... Our state has been represented negatively in more than 5,300 media outlets across the United States with nearly 8 billion impressions. 

"In Wake County, we have lost 250 committed jobs from Deutsche Bank, as well as a technology company that was considering the creation of up to 1,000 jobs in our region. Several other companies have eliminated us from consideration explicitly citing this bill. Our Convention and Visitors Bureau is reporting over $3.2 million in lost revenues, and much more is at risk."


Raleigh event cancellations quadruple due to HB2

The visitors bureau reported April 11 that four groups had canceled plans to hold events in Wake – pulling more than $732,000 in estimated spending – because of HB2, which some say discriminates against the transgender community, gays and lesbians.

Two other events have been canceled and another has been scaled back since then, the bureau reported in an update Monday. The bureau estimates that the changes cost the county an additional $2.4 million in economic spending, bringing the total of estimated losses to $3.1 million because of HB2.


Pearl Jam cancels Raleigh Concert

"The HB2 law that was recently passed is a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens. The practical implications are expansive and its negative impact upon basic human rights is profound. We want America to be a place where no one can be turned away from a business because of who they love or fired from their job for who they are."


Boston cancels NC concerts over HB2

"While the enjoyment of our fans is our central concern, and we have been looking forward to celebrating 40 years of history performing for our listeners in North Carolina with spectacular live shows this spring, human rights are more important," said Tom Scholz, the band's founder. "With thousands of fans in attendance at our shows, it is likely that some members of our audience and/or their loved ones are affected on a daily basis by this ugly expression of intolerance."


Cirque du Soleil cancels NC Shows

“Cirque du Soleil strongly believes in diversity and equality for every individual and is opposed to discrimination in any form. The new HB2 legislation passed in North Carolina is an important regression to ensuring human rights for all. We therefore choose to cancel our scheduled performances of OVO in Greensboro (April 20-24) and our scheduled performances in Charlotte (July 6-10) and our scheduled performances of TORUK – Avatar in Raleigh (June 22-26). 


NCSU losing business because of HBW

North Carolina State University has lost out on some potential business relocations to its Centennial Campus because of a new law that sets discrimination policy statewide, Chancellor Randy Woodson said Thursday.

"We've had, in the last week, a number of companies we were talking to about coming onto our campus indicate that they are no longer interested," Woodson said in Chapel Hill, where he was attending a University of North Carolina Board of Governors meeting. 


Ani DiFranco cancels NC concert over HB2

"Today I stand arm in arm with my community, friends, family and fellow citizens in condemning this unjust law. And while I was looking forward to coming to Durham, I can not in good conscience do so at this time. When one of us is oppressed, all of us are oppressed, and only through the strength of our collective action will change occur. I wish to add my voice through this small action to the chorus of all of those working to make our world a more loving and accepting place."


Raleigh loses $700k in conventions, could lose more due to HB2

A report released by Wake County’s leading tourism agency on Monday saysthat the county has lost more than $700,000 in response to the controversial House Bill 2 – and could lose millions more....

The visitors bureau reported that 16 other groups, the names of which it didn’t disclose, also are reconsidering plans to hold events in Wake County. The groups would bring a combined 73,500 people to the area and infuse an estimated $24 million into the local economy, the report says.