While walking around World Travel Market earlier this month, I started to take note of the tourism slogans used by each country. Why? Well while most were short and really aiming to be memorable, most didn’t really make me think more favourable about visiting that country for my next holiday. In fact, I was totally bemused by many of them. I imagine I am not alone in my sentiments of these tourism slogans. So one has to wonder, considering the financial investment involved with rebranding a city or country, is it money well spent?
Here are some examples of the tourism slogans that baffled me:
All four of the tourism slogans above were just begging to be ridiculed. With the Dominican Republic slogan, I immediately began to think about all the things they didn’t have. For Ireland, I just shook my head and said, huh? I mean, I can think of a lot of things to do in Ireland but jumping is not one of them. For Qatar, I just laughed because when I dream, no Middle Eastern country factors in; not with all the turmoil and less than open society. Finally for South Africa, what new ways exactly do they want to inspire? How to treat their citizens better? Something tells me that’s not what they had in mind.
That said, there were a few tourism slogans that I warmed to. Below are a few:
The tourism slogans for these four (Cameroon, Costa Rica, Japan & Nigeria) made me want to find out more about what their respective countries had to offer. I was particularly intrigued by the slogan for Cameroon. It’s not a country I typically think of in tourism terms, but seeing the sign stopped me in my tracks. I wanted to find out more about the country that perhaps hasn’t had a fair shake in tourism as it is bordered by some problematic countries.
That said, none of these slogans are on par with the three most successful tourism slogans of all time which are for American cities. These include: “I Love New York,” “Virginia Is for Lovers,” and Las Vegas’s “What Happens Here, Stays Here.” So would encourage most of these countries to go back to the drawing table to come up with a slogan that will better resonate with their target audience. And during the marketing/re-branding process, get input from tourist/travelers who love vacationing in their country! Had some of these countries done that, I would like to think they would have gone in a different direction. Failing a new tourism slogan that will do no harm, then best to stick to a logo and iconic image for the country!
Note: So see tourism slogans for fifty countries, check my Moxee Marketing WTM2012 Tourism Slogan facebook album.
Ursula Petula Barzey is a Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder of Moxee Marketing, a London based digital marketing agency.