Tourism board opposes immigration legislation

The Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau went on record Friday against Georgia's new immigration enforcement legislation because of concerns it could hurt the region's $10 billion tourism industry.

By a unanimous vote, the bureau's executive committee passed a resolution saying House Bill 87 is "unwelcoming" and could "tarnish Atlanta's reputation as one of America's most welcoming cities."

"The loss of potential revenues associated with conventions and tourism would have an adverse effect on Atlanta's economy and the businesses and employees directly and indirectly associated with Atlanta's hospitality industry," the resolution says.

Atlanta's convention and tourism boosters are hoping Georgia won't suffer like Arizona, which lost dozens of conventions after that state enacted similar legislation last year. The leisure and hospitality industry ranks as the fourth largest employer in the Atlanta region with about 223,000 jobs, according to the bureau.

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