#BoycottHawaii trending on Twitter after travel ban put on hold
After a federal judge in Hawaii blocked President Donald Trump's efforts to freeze immigration by refugees and citizens of some predominantly Muslim nations, some on Twitter called for a boycott of Hawaii using the hashtag #BoycottHawaii. Travel ban supporters want to boycott Hawaii and Hawaii seems pretty okay with it
HONOLULU - Twenty-four hours after a federal judge ordered a halt on President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, many took to Twitter calling for a boycott of Hawaii using the hashtag #BoycottHawaii.
"Certainly they're letting off steam. People who have strong feelings about Hawaii whether in favor or against started tweeting," twitter user, Ryan Ozawa said.
Ozawa is the man behind the the twitter handle @Hawaii.
He says since US District Court Judge Derrick Watson ruled to halt President Trump's most recent travel ban, his phone blew up with hundreds of tweets.
"I said, 'Okay.. maybe it's news alerts, breaking news happening, but then it kept happening and kept buzzing and buzzing," Ozawa said.
Ozawa says he has read the good, the funny, and the ugly posts, but says he doesn't take the #BoycottHawaii tweets that are directed at his handle too seriously.
"It hard not to find the funny side of it. What I really love is perhaps the #BoycottHawaii started in earnest but it quickly became an opportunity for people who love Hawaii to use that hashtag and say, 'You know what.. boycott Hawaii, sure,'" Ozawa added. "Any twitter meme or twitter flame kind of goes through an evolution and now its people commenting on the ridiculousness of it."
While some social media posts were pretty blunt about the boycott, others tell KITV they are willing to draw a line between politics and pina coladas.
"There's no reason not to come to Hawaii.. I mean it's part of America," said a tourist.
"Politics can be very polarizing.. I don't let that dictate our vacations," said another.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority says while the hashtag has gone viral, it's too early to tell whether it will have any type of impact on the number of visitors coming to Hawaii.
"I think it is a little early in it. They are entitled to their opinion but we think there is a whole bunch of people that understand what Hawaii is about. In that, we do welcome everyone, regardless of race, religion, any of that. Hawaii has been the most welcoming of visitor destinations," George Szigeti, President and CEO of Hawaii Tourism Authority said.
In January 2017, HTA says visitors brought in a total of 1.6 billion to Hawaii-- which is about a 10 percent increase from January of last year.
Szigeti says HTA is still on track for a record year, when it comes to the number of tourists visiting Hawaii.
App users, click here to see some of the tweets using #BoycottHawaii.