Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, November 11, 2011

Tourists: Come to America

I think this is a great idea.  The Corporation for Travel Promotion (CTP) is a private-public partnership formed for the purpose of bringing visitors to the United States.  Their ad campaign starts next year.  They describe their campaign as:  “the first-ever coordinated global marketing effort dedicated to welcoming international travelers to the United States.”

They also refer to creating a “21st century brand which symbolizes the boundless possibilities of the U.S.”

The group’s website also offers a few tips for travelers to America:

“Health care is superior in the US but it can be very expensive because there is no universal health care.”

“Some banking networks charge fees of $1-2 per transaction.”

“Be aware that Americans are fanatics about showering and hygiene.”

They should have mentioned something about the language barrier.  Foreign tourists who aren’t fluent in English are in for a rough time.  I’ve traveled all over Europe and Asia and would have been totally stranded if I had to rely on my own tiny smatterings of the local language.  English, and numerous other languages, are widely spoken overseas.  Such is not the case here, for whatever reason.

A spokesperson from the Corporation for Travel Promotion said:

“What is so compelling about the United States is that no one thing can explain who we are as a nation.  Each visitor and each experience helps create the fabric of American culture, and Brand USA embodies this spirit. When we launch our global marketing and advertising campaign next year, we will be able to reach audiences around the world by showcasing the best of America and spreading the message that we welcome visitors with open arms.”

Labels: ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Asians and Europeans used to complain Americans were some of the dirtiest people in the world - Hygiene wise.

Did you know Products like Listerine through their ad's invented Bad Breath (Halitosis) as a problem in the 50's? Before that no one cared!

As someone who grew up in the Bay Area, tourism is a real discipline. You not have to want their dollars, you have to be willing to put up with their habits, languages, and mores. All you have to do is get a reputation and there go your money.

(all the same in Sausalito they used to throw a "We're glad they are gone" party for all the locals - knowing even then that times will be lean until they come back)

This is my round a bout way of saying many of these intolerant American areas will find themselves quite unprepared for International Tourism.

One of the many reasons why the South wanted to clean it's act - for example - was to attract more commerce and more tourist dollars


November 11, 2011 at 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

I suppose this slogan is better than the one the fright wing was considering... America: Fuck Yeah!!! we're no 1, but not really in anything that matters anymore. Doesn't quite roll off the tongue the way US of awesome possibilities does now does it?

November 11, 2011 at 4:03 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

As much as such a large percentage of Americans seem to fear or distrust people from other countries, I'm not sure many of those people would be too happy with a big push for foreign tourists to come here, even if it meant more jobs and more dollars.

November 11, 2011 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...


November 12, 2011 at 6:47 AM  
Blogger Demeur said...

Well what else do we have left now that our manufacturing jobs have flown the coop? Think of us as the new Greece where all they have left is tourism.

November 12, 2011 at 10:48 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Erik, for the record, the following is from Freakonomics, via Wikipedia:

"Listerine, for instance, was invented in the nineteenth century as powerful surgical antiseptic. It was later sold, in distilled form, as both a floor cleaner and a cure for gonorrhea. But it wasn't a runaway success until the 1920s, when it was pitched as a solution for 'chronic halitosis'."

Dentyne gum came to market to deal with the same problem in 1899.

November 12, 2011 at 1:12 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

I shudder to think of the potential problems and bad impressions when our foreign guests run afoul of a TSA or Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent with a bad attitude. Also, when some dark-skinned tourists with thick accents visit Arizona and some other places. For example, places with signs up in state/local government buildings or businesses that declare English is the official language, yada, yada.

Then there's always the impression that will be made when a tourist turns on the TV news to see Joe Arpaio, Russell Pearce or some other jerk being profiled or interviewed.

If we Americans really want more tourists to come here, we had better learn some things, change some attitudes and assumptions, and take care to mind our manners.

November 12, 2011 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: You're right about tourism being a discipline. When I was in the Bay Area, I had many a frustrating commute, being stuck behind some oblivious asshole going 20 mph so they can gawk at the vineyards and redwoods. But we love their tourist dollars, so come on in, spend some money and get out.

Jess: "America: Fuck Yeah!" is more honest at least.

Snave: It'll be the usual dichotomy that most touristy areas have -- we hate these F#$%&! tourists, but we love their money.

Randal: He's traveling, AND his name is Johnny Foreigner? Wow, coincidence or what?

Demeur: Americans will become the quaint peasants being gawked at and photographed by wealthy foreigners.

SW: I'm sure most countries have government authorities that everyone has to watch out for and not run afoul of. Hopefully there would be a tourists' "grapevine" about places to avoid. Most American tourists overseas never get beyond the tourist traps, so it would probably be the same for foreign visitors here. Big cities and national parks mostly, I'd guess. Hopefully not too many of them would go wandering around rural Arizona or the Deep South.

November 12, 2011 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger BadTux said...

I am in regular contact with the owners of a tourist-dependent business in Eastern California. The majority of their business *used* to be European and Japanese tourists. But Homeland Security and the TSA took care of that, for some reason European and Japanese tourists don't like being treated like criminals, it took only one tourist season with corresponding free proctology exams after the creation of the TSA for tourists to get the message and stay home in droves. So now they're teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

In other words, "come to America and get a proctology exam for free!" ain't exactly gonna get a lot of takers. Just sayin' ;).

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

November 12, 2011 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

BT: Well that sucks. I guess that puts my theory out to pasture. I was assuming that our gung ho authority figures had their counterparts in every other country, and that foreign tourists wouldn't find the U.S. any more or less "free" than their own country. Sorry to hear we're scaring away Japanese and European tourists.

November 12, 2011 at 6:09 PM  
Blogger BadTux said...

I work with a lot of people from other countries, since I'm in the Silicon Valley. In most countries you show up at the airport, you buy a ticket with cash, hand over your luggage, then you walk onto the airplane, handing the ticket to the stewardess at the gate as you walk in. There's no security checkpoints, no X-ray machines, no ID check, no nothing. The only exception is for international flights, where you're required to show your passport with the appropriate stamp and where you may need to pass through a security check point to get into the international section of the airport -- mostly because if the airport serves the USA, that's necessary in order for jets taking off from the airport to get permission to land in the USA. But domestic flights never have any such thing even in nations currently under terrorist attack like India or in tyrannical dictatorships like Iran, it's expensive, obtrusive, and the sort of people who can afford to fly on a regular basis in most nations have too much political influence for it to be allowed.

Believe me, there were *howls* of protest from Japanese and European tourists when they were suddenly subjected to what they view as demeaning and intrusive treatment from obnoxious TSA agents. The U.S. security apparatus is now infamous in those countries for its rudeness and intrusiveness. You are *NOT* getting those tourists back with a PR campaign. It just ain't happenin.

- Badtux the Security Penguin

November 12, 2011 at 6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bad Tux,

It's a bit deeper then that. I worked pre TSA airport security (and at San Jose international). The Americans were being criticized as being behind in their checkpoint procedures. Then after 9/11 all of a sudden we introduce these, stupid, inconsistent, policies put out by inexperienced people (ignoring many of the long chronicled FAA Security audits recommendations), and if that wasn't bad enough, we use our economic clout to demand that the other countries do the same if they want to do business with the USA.

Tel Aviv is one of the most secure airports in the world yet they put none of their passengers through the humiliation that they put us through (and they certainly don't pick on everybody with a turban LOL!.

For example: here people have run the checkpoint to get to a plane, airports are then "closed", and flights are delayed while they look for them. Many times they have given up when the person has not been found and assumed they already boarded. In other countries you would have been shot on site.


Well you really are trying to prevent terrorism aren't you?


November 12, 2011 at 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh S.W.

My bad, I was off by a few decades


November 13, 2011 at 9:26 PM  
Anonymous pattaya apartments said...

The language barrier will no longer be a problem in the future because nations around the world are starting to teach English as a second language. The older ones just have to adjust.

February 17, 2012 at 1:45 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home