Robert Trigaux on Florida’s change in tourism slogans:
Florida’s governor was in full cheerleader mode this week at the state’s annual tourism conference.
And why not? Despite hurricanes galore, tourism in Florida was up 7 percent last year in visitors, and up even more in taxable sales at hotels and restaurants. This year’s looking even better.
But all the high-fives did not stop Visit Florida, the state agency that promotes tourism, from indicating it may be time to retire its tourism brand – FLA USA – and replace it with the less confusing if uninspiring slogan: Visit Florida.
I mean, what is a FLA USA, anyway? At first glance, it kind of fits in a dictionary somewhere between Flaubert (Gustave, French novelist) and flauta (a stuffed corn tortilla). Even the governor, as his remark at the top of this column indicates, acknowledges that the 8-year-old FLA USA may lack universal appeal or adequate comprehension.
FLA USA, of course, stands for Florida, USA. And therein lies a potential international marketing problem.
Unpopular or unpatriotic as this notion may be, a brand name that hypes USA probably is not the smartest way these days to lure foreign tourists to the Sunshine State. “Florida” probably still has plenty of overseas sun-‘n’-fun allure, but USA conjures up some pretty negative opinions in more than a few countries.
Many folks who travel overseas often, communicate regularly with citizens of other countries or at least talk to frequent travelers hear the stories. There is a lot of resentment in many parts of the world against the United States and its recent actions, especially in the Middle East.
Read the whole dumb thing.
I’m not going to argue with Trigaux’s point about America being unpopular internationally right now. We are a bit unpopular right now (sometimes being right makes you unpopular) but I think he’s overstating it a bit. After all, how many international tourists are really passing up on visiting the U.S. because they don’t like our foreign policies? I’d still like to visit Paris even though France is run by a bunch of namby-pamby Marxists. But whatever. That’s beside the point.
My problem is Trigaux’s assumption that Florida’s association with the United States in its advertising will negatively impact that state’s tourism. Does he really think that people from abroad are so stupid as to not realize that Florida is in the United States? That by removing reference to the U.S. from Florida’s advertising foreigners will be tricked into visiting America when they otherwise would not?
Not to mention that he completely ignores his own stated facts in this column. Florida’s tourism is up 7% from last year even while using the offending “FLA USA” slogan.
It seems like some of these liberals are really scraping the bottom of the barrel these days when it comes to Bush bashing.
By Rob Port of Say Anything.