Coast Is Business As Usual

While folks were out enjoying the beach, heading to coast hotels, restaurants and casinos, three hours away in the state capitol the words "economic boycott" were being tossed around. Because of the Gulf Coast's success as a tourism destination the threat of losing those tourism dollars from the many out-of state visitors wouldn't be positive.

Misty Velasquez is with the Harrison County Tourism Commission and says, "It would be unfortunate if there was a situation such as that, tourism is a very important industry on the Gulf Coast as it is in the state of Mississippi."

Already some groups like the International Association of Black Firefighters and the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity have cancelled plans for conventions in Mississippi next year. When the president of the NAACP told legislators that businesses too will shy away from Mississippi, it had one coast economic leader questioning that statement.

Michael Olivier is with the Harrison County Economic Development Commission and says, "Our experience has been in the last several months since this flag issue has arisen, we have not had any negative repercussions from businesses. Most of the companies that we deal with in North America and Europe and South America, thus far, have always talked about Nissan and position Mississippi as a good place to do business."

Mississippi dodged an economic boycott by the NAACP so far, but if they did call for one, coast leaders are asking the folks who spend their money here to think about it first.

Misty Velasquez says, "The experience a leisure traveler or a vacationer has on the Mississippi Gulf Coast is the same today as they had six months ago."

Meanwhile Michael Olivier says, "If they were to be successful in causing a boycott, they would be impacting not only Mississippians in general, but they would be impacting black Mississippians as well, so what's the point."