From Russia to Rwanda, crazy and weird tourism slogans around the world

The city of Okotoks, Alberta was ridiculed couple years ago when one section of a page of their campaign read “There are a number of things to do in Okotoks.”

Yeah, that’s probably not going to win any major advertising awards.

Back in the 1990s or so, the city of Barrie, Ontario had a sign when you came into town saying, “Beautiful Barrie, Ontario’s Most Progressive City.” I was never able to prove that, but last I checked there weren’t any homeless people, all the elderly were well looked after and the only crimes were small children shoplifting tiny bits of candy from a convenience store.

A few years ago, according to the Guardian newspaper in England, the slogan for Panama was “It Stays in You.” This is perhaps not the ideal thought for a country not terribly far from a nation known as the home of “Montezuma’s Revenge.” Now they say “Panama Surprises,” which I guess is okay, depending on what kind of surprise I get.

Panama’s new tourism slogan is “Panama Surprises.” Not so amazing. But I like the butterfly.

The Guardian also insists that at one time Bangladesh advertised for folks to “Visit Bangladesh Before Tourists Come.”

There was a recent story floating around the Internet about how someone in the Northern Territory of Australia had come up with a poster and t-shirts that said “CU in the NT” and also had a number of suggestive remarks. I personally hate the word being suggested but I also find the idea (apparently a gag and not something actually endorsed by tourism folks) kind of funny. It certainly got attention around the world in way that “NT: It Stays in You” would’ve managed.

I mention these past cases because I’ve seen a few stories the last few weeks about latest crop of bizarre, confusing, overly lengthy and just plain baffling slogans. Here are a few that your dedicated columnist found, along with some nice ones.

Scotland: “A Spirit of its Own.” One of my favourites. It tells us two things in a clever way.

Kyrgyzstan: “Oasis on the Silk Road.” That’s also nice, I think.

Mongolia: “Go Nomadic.” I’ve never been to Mongolia but I like this a lot; it conjures up images of frontier folk on a high plain with funky hats and visions of drinking yak milk in a yurt.

I didn’t know they had camels in Mongolia…

Liechenstein says we should come to “Experience Princely Moments.” I’d be happy to. I just hope the Prince doesn’t mind me popping in to sample his wine cellar.

Others I don’t quite get. Or think could be misunderstood.

Monaco: “Easy Going Monaco” (Yeah, except on your wallet).

Qatar: “Where Dreams Come to Life.” (Especially if someone bribes people to hold the World Cup of Football/Soccer there.)

Andorra is “The Pyrenean Country.” (This is lame. I mean, how many people even know where the Pyrenees are, let alone what they have to offer?)

Romania: “Explore the Carpathian Garden” (see above note on Andorra)

“Beautiful Syria”: I can’t even bring myself to comment on this given the tragedies of daily life in this country.

Some slogans are just tired and don’t mean anything.

“Yes, It’s Japan.” A glorious country with so much history and culture and THAT’S all they can come up with?

Kyoto is home to stunnng gardens and temples. But Japan’s tourism slogan is anything but golden. – JIM BYERS PHOTO

Tunisia says “I Feel Like Tunisia.” I have no idea how Tunisia feels. So why would I go?

“Venezuela is Your Destination?” Really, then why do I see Banff and the snow-covered Rocky Mountains outside my window?

A lot of authorities are arguably too amped up on alliteration.

“Beautiful Burundi” is right next to “Remarkable Rwanda.” Then there’s “Timeless Tuvalu” and “Pristine Paradise Palau.”

Others are mindlessly boastful.

The Dominican Republic apparently “Has it All.” Which can’t be true because Honduras says “Everything is Here.”

The Dominican Republic has great beaches and natural attractions. I wouldn’t quite say, however, that it “has it all.”

El Salvador advertises itself as “The 45 Minute Country.” What this does for folks who only have a 44-minute vacation allotment I don’t know.

Tanzania tells us that it is “The Land of Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar and the Serengeti.” It’s pretty compelling, but it also takes up half your character allotment on Twitter.

Russia has “Reveal Your Own Russia.” Not bad. I think “We Reveal Our Own America” sounds better.

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