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In Wake of Zimmerman Verdict, Tourism Experts Monitor Calls for Florida Boycott

Jul 18, 2013

In Florida, tourism is big business.
Credit Bay News 9

Stevie Wonder's message is about 5,000 signatures short of being signed, sealed and delivered to Tallahassee.

A day after George Zimmerman's acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the singer announced during a concert in Quebec City that he wouldn't perform in Florida until the state's Stand Your Ground law is abolished.

More than 10,000 people have followed Wonder's lead, signing a MoveOn.org petition to boycott Florida until the self-defense law is repealed.

"Your state is not a safe place to vacation if your citizens are able to kill anyone they deem suspicious," the petition states.

Those in Florida's tourism industry are keeping an eye on the situation, but they're not in panic mode.

“Sometimes boycotts come up, but we think the best way to resolve differences is to meet new people and travel, not to try to preclude people from traveling from one destination to another” Michael Gehrisch, CEO of Destination Marketing Association International, told Bay News 9.

Florida saw 91.4 million tourists in 2012, according to Visit Florida.

Once the MoveOn petition gets 15,000 signatures, organizers plan to deliver it to the Florida Senate, Florida House of Representatives and the office of Gov. Rick Scott.