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Trump supporters #BoycottHawaii as a vacation destination; the fifth Hawaii boycott since 2010


Hawaii is taking a hit once again, but they have certainly been down this road before.

In the past seven years, Americans have called for no fewer than five boycotts on the 50th state in the country.

This time, supporters of President Trump's travel ban began calling for fellow Americans to boycott Hawaii as a vacation destination after the actions of a federal judge.

On Wednesday, Hawaii Federal Judge Derrick Watson ruled for the state of Hawaii in a suit against the travel ban. The state had argued that Trump's revised travel ban discriminates on the basis of nationality and religion and would harm the state by reducing tourism. The ruling put a nationwide hold on the travel ban which would have taken effect at midnight Thursday.

Twitter reactions ensued under the trending hashtag #BoycottHawaii

Anyone paying attention may have noticed how Hawaii seems to attract boycotts.

In 2010, some Americans called for travelers to boycott Hawaii after Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed same-sex civil unions.

Two years later, in 2012, Americans who believed President Obama was not born in the U.S. called for a boycott of Hawaii until officials admitted they could not confirm that Obama was born in the state. A year before calls for the boycott, the White House had released President Obama's Hawaiian birth certificate.

In 2015, the U.S. Women's National Team for U.S. Soccer boycotted Hawaii when they declined to play a match against Trinidad and Tobago at Aloha Stadium. The field and the state of the turf posed significant safety concerns to players, they said.

Last year, in 2016, some gun owners called for other gun owners to boycott Hawaii based on the regulations placed on those who have or carry  a firearm into the state. Gun owners said they believed the regulations were in violation of their second amendment rights.

It is worth nothing that Hawaii hasn't taken all these boycotts without fighting back. A Honolulu cafe took a stand in 2016 when the owner posted a handwritten sign telling anyone who voted for Trump to stay out.

Read more: Hawaii cafe's sign banning Trump voters sparks backlash

The owner later said it was a joke, but some said they would avoid visiting 8 1/2 Cafe which is still serving up Italian cuisine.

Hawaii too, has managed to survive the boycott storms.

While it isn't clear how many of the tourists are American, in 2015, the year for which the most recent data is available, the islands greeted a record 8.7 million visitors. Last year, the Aloha State reported a record number of visits during the first half of the year.


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About the Author

Nedra Rhone has been a features reporter with the AJC for 10 years. She’s written about everything from fashion to food to news.