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jan 13 2009

Tourism slogan as psychological warfare

The country of Georgia soundly lost a brief war with Russia last summer (that it apparently started), but its tourism officials haven't thrown up the white flag.

The country may augment its current "Europe Starts Here" tourism campaign with a new one called "The Winner Is Georgia." The plan is to pit the small eastern European country against other nations and claim that–when it comes to being a great tourist destination, at least–Georgia wins.

A test campaign this fall was launched in U.S. business publications. Here was the Georgia vs. France ad:

Think wine, think France, yes? Well, the country does have a deep-rooted tradition of viniculture. But it doesn't go as far back as the nation of Georgia's. In fact, over 3,000 years ago it was Georgians that first saw the possibilities in the humble grape. That–as well as the fact that Georgia's economic growth has outstripped that of France for five straight years–is something well worth celebrating. Over a bottle of excellent Georgian wine, of course. And the winner is: GEORGIA

Not everyone trusts the Georgians, though. While the main home page of the tourism website is fine, when I clicked to the link Travel for more info using the Firefox browser, I saw this message: "Reported Attack Site!" Apparently, Firefox is afraid that hostilities still haven't ended. (Apple's browser, Safari, loaded the page fine. Go figure.)

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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