Almost every US state and most foreign countries have adopted a logo or slogan as part of their marketing strategy to entice prospective visitors to come to their locale. You maybe familiar with catchphrases such as “Virginia is for Lovers” for the state of Virginia, “Live Free or Die” for the state of New Hampshire, and “The Last Frontier” for Alaska just to mention a few. I am not aware of a survey that quantifies how many tourist actually visit a country or state based on the logo or slogan they may have seen or heard. Even though a slogan may be recognizable, I firmly believe that it is not what draws tourist to a particular place. It is not even given consideration when planning itineraries. In fact, many may not even know of the country’s tourism campaign until they arrive at their destination.
On some of my trips they have been a few logos and slogans that have caught my attention, mostly because they resonated with me in an appealing way. Either the slogan captures the essence of what their country is all about in just a few words, and I get it, or the graphic is clear, effective and accomplishes its task in conveying the intended message.
- On my first visit to India, when I landed at New Delhi airport I noticed the slogan, “Incredible India” written in big bold letters. I thought this slogan was strange until I began to witness and experience the sights, sounds, and yes, even the smell of India. Spicy scents wafted on the night air, especially curry. Wherever I went from Delhi to Agra to Jaipur I encountered strange, different, or intriguing experiences which kept baring out the slogan and I would find myself saying ” This is truly incredible.”
- Another slogan that came to life for me was “Pura Vida” from the beautiful Central America country of Costa Rica. Translated “Pure Life” it has captured the heart of the nationals and has overflowed even to every visitor. It is evident in the lush rain forest, abundant fresh fruit and vegetables, scenic greenery, flowing rivers, natural waterfall and wild life. Everyone seems to have a vested interest in maintaining their healthy eco-friendly environment. I was impressed to see the slogan at every turn and to hear it as a greeting on arrival and departure.
- The Flying Fish is prominently portrayed in one of many logos for the beautiful island of Barbados. The fish is known to jump out of the water, spread its wings and fly for a very short distance before diving back into the water. It is truly a sight to behold when you see a school of flying fish in action. It is a local delicacy and served as part of the national dish Cou-cou and Flying Fish.
If you plan to visit the World Travel Market in London on November 6 – 8, you certainly will get to see many logos and slogans, as well as, meet country representatives and possibly receive giveaways that will bare their subtle messages of enticements. It is estimated that 51,000 travel professionals will attend this year to promote their country’s tourism vision. Over 5000 exhibit booths will display and showcase all things travel related. Other regions worth visiting for the three day event that brings together the travel industry and trade networks are: Africa, Arabia Travel Market, Asia, and Latin American.