SPRINGFIELD, Mo. From the fountains in Kansas City to the Cardinals in St. Louis to Bass Pro Shops and Wonders Of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, the Show-Me state has a lot to show visitors.
But for 2018, Fodor's Travel put Missouri in its top ten list of places not to go. Coming in at number seven, Missouri is in the company of Cuba and Honduras, but it's the only state to make the list.
Why? In part, Senate Bill 43. Over the summer, the legislature passed it, and the governor signed into law; it went into effect in August. The measure raises the bar to win discrimination suits against employers.
As a result, Missouri's NAACP issued its first travel advisory ever warning people of color traveling through Missouri to go at their own risk.
The agency's declaration also stated, "Race, gender and color based crimes have a long history in Missouri."
The advisory made national news.
"We have had calls from concerned, from people who were concerned about their safety when visiting Missouri," explained Tracy Kimberlin, the president and CEO of the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Kimberlin added it's difficult to gauge the impact of the travel advisory, but he feels the target is misguided.
"I do understand the concerns, and discrimination is a real thing. But it's not just in Missouri. It's all over, and that's a problem that we all need to address, and I don't think singling out a single state is the way to do that," Kimberlin said.
To view Fodor's entire list and Missouri's NAACP travel advisory, copy and paste the addresses below into your URL.