MOBILE, Ala., Ala. – Three-quarters of Alabama residents back the governor's call for a travel boycott of Aruba to protest the island's handling of the disappearance of teenager Natalee Holloway.
The poll, conducted by the Mobile Register and University of South Alabama and released Sunday, also found that seven out of 10 respondents would not travel to the Caribbean island even if they won a free trip.
Gov. Bob Riley proposed the boycott to protest the investigation into the disappearance of Holloway, who went missing in May at the end of a Mountain Brook High School graduation trip.
The teen's family claims authorities in Aruba have conducted a shoddy investigation. Holloway, who was 18 when she vanished, was last seen leaving a bar with three young Aruba residents. Each of the three was later taken into custody but has since been released.
Authorities in Aruba have reacted angrily to the call for a boycott. The State Department has refused to support a boycott, as have many travel groups.
"The governor certainly understands there is nothing he can legally do to stop Americans from traveling to Aruba," said Riley spokesman Jeff Emerson. "This is just using the bully pulpit to urge them to consider other travel options."
The poll, which was taken Monday through Thursday by the USA Polling Group, surveyed 400 adult residents of Alabama. The results carry a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.