Travel Boycotts: Tell Me Why

This photo is irrelevant but I felt like using it

By now if you are a resident in North America, you would have heard about House Bill 2 that was passed in North Carolina. If you haven’t heard of it, I suggest doing some research on it as I will not be sharing specifics.

Let’s just say that HB2 takes away fundamental rights that every American should have.  I’m not going give my opinion on HB2, but you can guess :p The reason I bring it up is because I am seeing a lot more writers and other travellers boycotting travel to North Carolina, and I’m not sure I would do the same.

First of all, I would like to see how much of an impact that travel has on that state (dollars wise). I would assume (because I know very little of N. Carolina) that they bring in money from a variety of areas and travel only makes up a small portion. So what does your boycott do? Raise awareness? Does it make you feel better about yourself? Does it make you look better to others?

I don’t raise those questions to make you feel angry. Rather, I ask out of general curiosity. I see statements on Facebook and Twitter saying “I will not visit North Carolina until this Bill is reversed”. And my first thought becomes “Did you ever plan on visiting North Carolina anyway?”. Even as we speak, North Carolina faces pressures from the federal government to get rid of HB2. So does your boycott really do anything at this point? I think it just piles on to the burden that people from North Carolina face, not the government.

I met several travellers from North Carolina, when I was in Portugal and Ireland. Each one of them were unique and lovely individuals. I can’t see how one of them would agree with what their government is doing, but they can’t exactly force the change themselves. Should we punish these lovely people for the doing of their own government? I sure as hell would’t avoid visiting them just because a group of individuals is blind to reality.

Germany was part of one of the most horrific things in history. Yet, millions of people visit the country every year. Drinking at Octoberfest, going up the Rhein, seeing the wall in Berlin. And not only are they not proud of their past but they learn about it, they are embarrassed for it, and some carry it as a burden on their shoulders. Just as a bunch of people in North Caroline feel, I’m sure. I realize that what happened in Germany is in the past and what has passed in North Carolina is happening right now, but your effect it the same.

From my side I see people boycotting North Carolina because they already know they will never travel there. Most out of interest in other spots. So telling people to not go somewhere only hurts yourself and the locals in N.C., not the government that is making these mistakes.

IMO: When you decide to boycott travel to a certain place what is your real impact? Because unless you are speaking of boycotting certain activities (riding elephants in Thailand), I can’t see how avoiding travel to a country/state actually changes anything. In fact, you are just missing out on going someplace new and meeting a bunch of beauties.

What do you think?

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