The reaction to the case has reached the Facebook page for Visit Florida, the state’s tourism arm. Under photos promoting the state’s sunny vistas, people are posting messages such as, "I will make an effort to boycott all Florida products and to spread the word until this situation is fixed." Meanwhile, other comments are critical of protesters, with one saying, "to all African-Americans boycotting Florida … Please don’t stop! It’s is much more pleasant here without you."
Meanwhile, Moveon, a liberal public policy advocacy group, has started a petition drive calling for a boycott of tourism to Florida until the law is overturned.
"If the murder of Trayvon Martin isn’t enough to get lawmakers’ attention, maybe a loss in revenue to the state would be," Moveon said in an email seeking signatures.
Asked about a boycott having an impact on the state’s important hospitality sector, Scott said during an appearance Tuesday on CNBC’s "Mad Money that he hopes not.
Scott, whose office deferred comment to his statements during the CNBC interview, pointed to the state’s reduced crime rate as evidence of efforts to keep Florida safe.
"We are having record tourism, 91 million tourists last year, two record years in a row, we’re on track, up about 4 percent last year, so we’re heading in the right direction," Scott said.
Officials from Visit Florida did not return requests for comment Wednesday.
Scott’s beliefs hadn’t stopped more than 8,800 people from signing the Moveon petition by Wednesday afternoon.
"If my sons are not safe in Florida against gun-toting vigilantes, then neither is my money," wrote Kimberly Melancon of Atlanta on the petition.
"How about boycotting their produce as well?" added petition signer Judith Cahill of El Prado, N.M.
On Twitter and Facebook a number of hashtags — #BoycottFlorida, #BoycottFloridaTourism and #NotFlorida — have been created in support of boycotting Florida over the Zimmerman ruling.
Julius Denson, a Moveon member from Temple Terrace, promoted another petition that simply seeks to amend the law so an individual would be prevented from "pursuing another person and being able to claim self-defense."
"It is completely irresponsible and dangerous to have such an ambiguous law in place that doesn’t consider the full circumstance of a given situation," Denson stated in a release.
A task force created by Scott last year to review the state’s 2005 "stand your ground" law recommended that the law not be overturned and suggested only a few minor tweaks.
Pizam said most boycotts in reaction to court rulings or new state laws in the past haven’t had a significant impact.
"For one, you might see those on the other side show their support for Florida, which could help balance things," Pizam said. "And even those who think about boycotting realize sooner or later that this is collective punishment and collective punishment hits innocent bystanders."
Pizam noted that Florida’s tourism industry did suffer about an 8 percent drop in visitors after nine tourists were killed in 1993, but the impact didn’t last long, even with the worldwide attention heightened by screaming British tabloid headlines and the Philadelphia Daily News declaring "The Sunshine State becomes a State of Terror."
"That was a significant crime against tourists, violent crimes, but in time people forgot it," Pizam.