Confederate Flag Impacts South Carolina Tourism
The NAACP vows to continue its economic boycott of the state of South Carolina. That means, for the ninth straight year, the state stands to lose thousands because of the ongoing protest. The boycott stems, in part, due to the confederate flag.
"We aren’t taking a break,” says Dr. Lonnie Randolph, president of the civil rights organization. "The confederate flag is important because it’s disrespectful."
Randolph admits the NAACP’s upcoming convention, which hosts about 400 attendees is not a huge economic blow to South Carolina. However he says, galvanizing other organizations to do the same, hits home.
"We still have the support of the NCAA, the Black Coaches Association, the National Association of Basketball Coaches,” he said.
Randolph says the support of multiple groups is essential in the ongoing boycott of South Carolina. The economic sanctions are fueled over the placement of the confederate flag.
The symbol was removed from atop the State House dome in 2000. It now sits on the State House grounds next to a confederate soldiers’ monument.
"The only time you can truly tell in tourism if a boycott of any kind is working, is if you lose a large group,” says Tom Sponseller, Executive Director of the South Carolina Hospitality Association. He says the state is already feeling the impact of losing a large group. For several years, the Atlantic Coast Conference baseball tournament has chosen North Carolina.
"It was big. That was a tournament that would’ve brought colleges from all ACC schools, their fans, teams into Myrtle Beach for probably a whole week long event. That’s big."
Randolph claims his list of supporters is getting bigger. He said he is negotiating a contract to keep away a Christian organization’s 75, 000 members. He also said hundreds of family reunions could be cancelled. However, Tom Sponseller says families that historically have their reunions in South Carolina, are still coming.
Copyright ©2009 ABC Columbia
On The Web: www.wolo.com/article.php?id=850&page=index