SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – When you are planning to visit somewhere you’ve never been, you may turn to a travel guide for advice.
However, state officials in Missouri are speaking out after a travel guide warned tourists to avoid the ‘Show-Me’ State.
Fodor’s Travel created a list of the top places not to visit in 2018, which is as follows:
- The Galapagos
- The Places that Don’t Want you to Visit
- The Taj Mahal
- Phang Nga Park, Thailand
- Mt. Everest
- Great Wall of China & Beijing, China
Missouri was the only state to make the list.
“Missouri is also the place where SB 43 was passed making it more difficult to sue employers for discrimination, a state representative argued that homosexuals weren’t human beings, a tourist who got lost and ran out of gas was later found murdered in his jail cell without ever being put under arrest, and two men were hunted down and shot on suspicion of being Muslim on the outskirts of Kansas City. And that’s just in 2017,” Fodor’s wrote.
At the same time, Missouri’s NAACP issued its first travel advisory, warning people of color traveling through Missouri to go at their own risk.
“When we found out about this nearly two months ago, we were deeply saddened to hear that Fodor’s made this comment about our state,” Kitty Ratcliffe, president of Explore St. Louis, said in a statement Monday. “The fact is that St. Louis remains a diverse, cosmopolitan and welcoming region. Explore St. Louis fully supports nondiscrimination, equal rights, and fair and just due process for everyone, regardless of the color of their skin. Be assured that the more than 88,000 dedicated employees of the St. Louis metropolitan area’s hospitality industry remain committed to serving and welcoming people from all backgrounds and experiences to our community.”
Concerned tourists are already calling employees with the state’s tourism department.
“We have had calls from concerned, from people who were concerned about their safety when visiting Missouri,” Tracy Kimberlin, the president and CEO of the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, told KYTV.