(CNSNews.com) - The economic boycott launched against South Carolina by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will continue, despite a vote Thursday by the South Carolina legislature to remove the Confederate flag from atop the Statehouse dome in Columbia.
The boycott, in place since last July, appears to be having little impact, however, according to figures released by the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
Both the House and Senate agreed Thursday to move the controversial flag from the dome and place it on a monument on Statehouse grounds. Still, the NAACP vows to continue the boycott indefinitely until the flag is removed from the capitol grounds entirely.
In its report, the tourist bureau reported increases in revenue, investments, and taxes in South Carolina in 1999, compared to the previous year, despite a 4.7 percent decline in visitors to the Palmetto State.
As measured by visitor spending, the South Carolina tourist industry has increased since the NAACP announced its boycott. Tourist related tax receipts rose 9.7 percent in 1999, and investments in hotels, restaurants and related businesses shot up 66.5 percent.
A spokesman for the Hospitality Association of South Carolina said the longer the boycott lasts, the greater effect it will have on South Carolina's tourist industry.
"The greatest impact will be in the future, if the boycott lasts," said HASC president Tom Sponseller. "We'll see the effects continue into this year and next, if meeting planners just take us off their list."