Kooky Swiss national tourism marketing

21 Oct

This is the latest from the Swiss national tourist office.  National tourism marketing at its best (?).    Still not as cool as Iceland (so to speak).

Video link

Swiss man in a forest, looking at an ant-hill with the sub-title "See these ants"

Via Copyranter

Slow photography: New Zealand photo essay

20 Oct

From the great travel-inspired blog and online magazine Matador Network and the Glimpse Correspondents Programme a chap’s epic journey of slow-photography around beeeautiful New Zealand.  This involves breaking photography down to its basic elements – some photograph paper, a box (or similar) with a pin-hole in it, some time and patience and some luck.

It’s just real cool – well done this guy.

Black and white picture of a lake and mountains

I quit

16 Oct

I haven’t posted for a while.

The truth is that after 25+ years in or around the tourism industry, including washing dishes, going trout fishing, rafting, making coffee, pulling pints, washing more dishes, carving ham, making beds, baking bread, placing advertisements, selling advertisements, dropping off brochures, hiring DJs, bouncing, white water rafting, shagging backpackers, pouring wine, researching, studying, saving the planet, working for cafes, restaurants, bars, hotels, backpackers, adventure operations, regional tourism organisations, industry associations, convention centres, foreign countries, NGOs, winners, losers, legends, assholes, I am not working in tourism any more.


I am charting a different course for now.

This doesn’t mean the end of my blog or, indeed, the end of my involvement in tourism.

For the last few months I have been tutoring a course in sustainable tourism at Victoria University of Wellington. I really wanted to share some of my experience with the young folks down there. Bit patronising but there you go. It has been a great experience. Not so great this weekend as I am marking assignments.

I feel like I have had a bit of a break from the blog now so hopefully some more coming for my two followers (including my sister).

What makes Internet marketing cool and not lame..?

25 Mar

Understanding what makes a successful internet and/or social media campaign is a kind of modern holy grail of marketing. Increasingly it is causing tourism commentators (among others) to gaze deep into their naval pondering the question: “What makes a campaign cool, and not lame?”. I find this a very interesting question and worth thinking about.

I find it can be instructive to look outside of the tourism industry.

Johnny Cupcakes is a clothing label with a strong online presence and has done bl00dy well. Why is it successful?

I reckon its because its fun as sh1t. Fun to watch, I mean. That’s crucial. Yeah…Blast people in the face with cupcakes – in slow mo. Spot on.

People can also ‘belong’ to the Johnny Cupcakes label – its a community of sorts. Check out their blog if you want proof. It hardly ever talks about the clothes – its a movement (albeit a frivolous one).

Check out all these hipsters waiting for a new London store to open. Foppish haircuts, anyone?

Middle-class hipsters waiting for Johnny Cupcakes London to open its doors

I think the Cupcakes Cannon campaign from Johnny Cupcakes is pretty bloody ace. Check it out (above). Think…What makes this cool? I don’t think its as mysterious as one might think.

Tourism after the Christchurch earthquake

16 Mar

The impacts of Christchurch’s massive earthquake have been immense.  Like many facets of life in the city, tourism is being seriously affected.  There is so much that I could discuss – the Rugby World Cup, the economic impacts, the role (and future) of Christchurch as a hub for South Island tourism.  Most of it is bad.

Christchurch earthquake - totally sick

Gerry Brownlee (the Minister for knocking down Christchurch) has indicated that he intends to live up to his portfolio and knock down much of Christchurch’s heritage buildings – a process that appears to be underway.

Some of Christchurch’s appeal to (especially international) tourists is its pleasant cityscape – ahh, the meandering river, drooping willows, tranquil gardens… and heritage buildings.  Will Minister Brownlee’s efforts to purge old buildings from the city center have an impact on this appeal?  Certainly.  How much impact is difficult to say.

But, always one to look on the bright side, I have been thinking of another city in New Zealand for which large-scale destruction by earthquake was the source of its greatest point of difference as a tourist destination.

That’s right – Napier. (Good on you for paying attention).

For the many international followers of my blog (I have wordpress stats…I know who you are), Napier is an otherwise unremarkable town* that had its central city destroyed by a fire following a large earthquake in the 1930s.  The town was completely rebuilt in the Art Deco style that was popular with finger-snapping architects at the time.  What has been left behind is the one of the world’s most impressive and cohesive collections of flat-roofed, sunrise motifed buildings, rivaled only by Palm Beach Florida (where they filmed a lot of ‘Scarface’ with Al Pacino).

Napier nights resemble a lost episode of Back to the Future

Napier hosts an annual Art Deco festival, and on any given Friday night flappers can be easily accosted in the street and dragged into the nearest speakeasy.

So here’s the rub…What if Christchurch was rebuilt in the latest style, creating a legacy of architectural cohesion that would excite and tittilate visitors in coming decades?  This raises some difficult and interesting questions though…

What is the ‘latest style’?  I don’t know enough architecture to comment really.  It seems to be a mixture of glass, curvy lines and rock gardens.

Was there widespread dissention among residents of Napier as it was being rebuilt in the Art Deco style?  I can imagine a chorus of traditionalists crying out “this bloody art deco carry on is a fad and will look farking ridiculous in 80 years time.  We’ll be a laughing stock.  I’m off down the saloon.”

These are all important questions that need to be asked, I feel.

Although with the world seemingly falling down around us, I’m not sure if its a priority.

Christchurch Art Gallery - a model of the Bendymetal Lotsa Glass architectural style

*It should be noted that it also possesses New Zealand’s second loveliest test-cricket ground, McLean Park.

Tourism and Tunisia Riots

3 Feb

As mentioned in my previous post, I have been in a flu-induced delirium for most of this week.  This has coincided with revolutionary events unfolding in Egypt, which I have been paying close attention to. Egypt occupies such a critical position in the relationship between the Arab World and the West.

The uprising in Egypt was, to a large extent, a knock-on from the success of a recent uprising in Tunisia.  One sweaty, sleepless night I listened to this podcast that discussed the role of tourism in Tunisia’s interesting history.   The main takeouts are that:

– Tunisia’s openness to tourism in the 1950s and 1960s contributed to its economic success and, therefore, stability, BUT…

– The nature of tourism was reminiscent of Tunisia’s period as a French colony, where those that were close to the West (tourist workers) were well-off, but subservient.

Was the emergence of the popular reformist movement in Tunisia have been caused, to some extent, by the ongoing subjugation of Tunisian culture – first by colonialism and then by tourism?

Drawing parallels between tourism and colonialism isn’t new (insert references here…please, because I’m not going to).  Its still bubbling away there.  I would really like to intellectualise this some, but I got the dumb.

Domestic tourism has its own special appeal in Tunisia

Epic Antarctic Exploration on Speed with Frolicking Russians

3 Feb

A ten-minute trip to Antarctica with a bunch of frolicking Russians!  Brilliant.  I am really interested in different ways of showing a journey and feel that it fits within my blog subject matter (whose gonna argue?).

There is something for everyone – building planes, building a pool, flying big-ass Russian helicopters, ice-breaking, and…That’s right – frolicking Russians.

I have the flu right now and am partially delusional.  No point…Just saying.

My advice – turn down the sound…Its very annoying.  Maybe put on some of your own.  Something epic.