The three most successful tourism slogans of all time are made-in-America: “I Love New York,” “Virginia Is for Lovers,” and Las Vegas’s “What Happens Here, Stays Here.”
But our country has also come up with some doozies: Remember New Jersey’s “Come See for Yourself”?
Or Washington state’s “SayWA.” (Say whah?) Clearly, bad tourism slogans happen.
In Central America, there’s a plague of—in my opinion, not Budget Travel’s—poor, English-language slogans. Nicaragua’s is “Unique.” Um, unique in a good way, right?
El Salvador’s is “Impressive!” (Apparently “Modest!” was already taken.)
Panama debuted last year the slogan, “It Will Never Leave You.” In reaction, Jaunted has asked people what they think of when they hear the slogan “It Will Never Leave You.” Answers include, “Unlike How Mommy Left Daddy.”
Since 2006, Guatemala has had the slogan “Soul of the Earth.” This baffles the Luxury Latin America Blog, which comments: “Will there be shamans and chanting involved? Or spelunking? Will I feel the ground vibrate during the summer solstice?”
I’d encourage Central American countries to use Belize’s slogan as a model: “Mother Nature’s Best-Kept Secret.” That’s catchy! Who wouldn’t want to travel to see that? (And it’s definitely preferable to “Belize It or Not!”)
Also effective: “Costa Rica: No Artificial Ingredients.”
Budget Travel reader Jimbo has said it best: “A tourism slogan at worst should do not harm. In other words, it shouldn’t stop people from coming. But advertising being what it is, there are a lot of self-inflicted wounds out there!”
His picks for the Worst Tourism Slogans in the World include:
Colombia: The Only Risk Is Wanting to Stay.
Albania: A New Mediterranean to Love.