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Hawaii Tourism Authority: No Effect From #BoycottHawaii

| by Michael Doherty

Supporters of President Donald Trump called for a boycott of Hawaii tourism after a Hawaiian federal judge blocked Trump's latest travel ban -- state tourism officials have said that the ban has not affected tourism as of yet.

"The scuba diving in Hawaii is overrated and Hawaiian pizza sucks," wrote one angry Trump supporter on Twitter after the ban was blocked, News.com.au reports. "Let Hawaii secede. Bye!" The Twitter user accompanied this post with the hashtag #BoycottHawaii.

"Just switched my vacation plans! Heading east instead," tweeted another user, who added an image of a Hawaiian beach with a red circle and line through it and the caption, 'Time to find another beach!' underneath. "Key West, FL here we come," they concluded.

The proposed boycott comes after Federal Judge Derrick Watson of Hawaii issued a nationwide restraining order blocking Trump's second attempted travel and immigration ban, restricting immigration from six Muslim-majority countries, NBC reports.

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"A reasonable, objective observer -- enlightened by the specific historical context, contemporaneous public statements, and specific sequence of events leading to its issuance -- would conclude that the Executive Order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion," wrote Watson in his decision, citing remarks from Trump and from Rudy Giuliani, who reportedly said that Trump had first approached him for help creating a "Muslim ban."

The executive order is Trump's second attempt at such a travel ban, after the first was blocked by another federal judge and an appeals court refused to reinstate the order. The revised order removed Iraq from the list of countries affected by the ban, and made exemptions for green card holders and permanent residents of the United States. It also removed a provision banning Syrian refugees indefinitely.

According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, there have been hundreds of phone calls and emails from Trump supporters saying that they would not book trips to Hawaii. They said they have seen no evidence of cancelations, however, TMZ reports.

The HTA said that though there is no evidence the boycott has had any impact so far, there could be cancelations in the months to come. In the meantime, the HTA said that it supports Watson's decision.

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"We celebrate diversity and honor culture ... oppose the travel ban and we applaud the ruling of the U.S. District Court to prevent it from being implemented at this time," said the HTA.

The Hawaii boycott also reportedly backfired in another, unexpected way. Several Hawaiian residents on social media responded to the calls for boycott saying that they would be happy to have fewer tourists on their beaches.

"#BoycottHawaii... please?" wrote one user, including an image of a beach in Hawaii with tourists on it, captioned, 'I'm sorry, was that supposed to be a threat?'

"Best news I've heard all day," tweeted another. "Fewer narrow-minded bigots littering our beaches and mocking our traditions. Mahalo ia ʻoukou!"

Sources: TMZ, NBC, News.com.au / Photo credit: Bernard Spragg. NZ/Flickr

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