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Posted by Victor Crew on

Kazakhstan Tourism Board Adopts “Borat” Catch Phrase “Very nice!” for Marketing Campaign

 

If you were even vaguely conscious during 2006 you probably heard people crowing “Very nice!” in a vaguely Eastern European accent. This was the catch phrase Sacha Baron Cohen’s character Borat who was the main character of Cohen raunchy comedy by the same name.

Cohen’s character was from a extremely fictionalized version of the country of Kazakhstan who, at the time, threatened to sue Cohen and banned the franchise.

The former Soviet state has had a complete changed of heart with the release of the second Borat movie, going so far as to adopt the slogan “very nice!” to a tourism campaign.

Dennis Keen, an American living in the real Kazakhstan and his friend Yermek Utemissoy pitched the slogan a set of four short commercials using the catch phrase to the country’s tourism board. Each of them ending with “Kazakhstan. Very nice!”

Kairat Sadvakassov, Dept. Chairman of Kazakh Tourism, stated to the HuffPost, that the slogan encapsulates the tourism potential of the country in a short, catchy way.

When Cohen heard of Kazakhstans adoption of his character’s catch phrase we released the following statement:

 “This is a comedy, and the Kazakhstan in the film has nothing to do with the real country,” Baron Cohen wrote in an email to the Times. “I chose Kazakhstan because it was a place that almost nobody in the U.S. knew anything about, which allowed us to create a wild, comedic, fake world. The real Kazakhstan is a beautiful country with a modern, proud society — the opposite of Borat’s version.”

The new Borat film titled “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” is streaming on Amazon.

Posted by Victor Crew on

Social Media Shuts Down Another Tourist Destination

Outside of California’s capital Sacramento there is an incredible field of white and yellow flowers, daffodils, called McLaughlin’s Daffodil Hill. This popular tourist photo opportunity will be closing indefinitely. Why? Because of its extreme popularity created by buzz on social media.

The original plot of land was purchased in 1887 and has been passed down through the Ryan family since then. The Ryans, who still manage the property, posted the closure on social media on July 15th.

The post informs us that the “crush of visitors” was too much for the facilities currently available such as on-site parking and the local roads. The Ryans have safety and liability concerns continuing under current, rural infrastructure which couldn’t handle all the people wanting to photograph themselves among the daffodils for their social media accounts.

Daffodil Hill is among a growing group of tourist locations all over the globe having to close because of increasing social media, specifically Instagram, popularity and infrastructure or preservation concerns. Daffodil Hill isn’t even the only location under such duress in California.

Antelope Valley’s super bloom of poppies was so popular in 2019 visitors were doing crazy things like landing a helicopter into the field to access the area for their photo opp.

Maya Bay, in 2018, had to close because of over-popularity. This Thai island was made famous by the film “The Beach”.

Uluru or Ayers Rock in Australia will be closed off this October to climbers according to officials.

Posted by Victor Crew on

Venice to Initiate Day-Tourist Tax

Venice, Italy has achieved approval to begin charging an entry fee of up to about $11.50 USD for each short-stay tourist. The 2019 Italian budget clause will specifically will target day guests from cruise ships. Italy has precedent for a so-called “landing tax” as they already do this on their Aeolian Islands.

It has been the opinion of Venetians for years that mass tourism is an issue for city—with about a hundred cruise ships and about a million passengers a year coming into the city one can see why.

Luigi Brugnaro, Venice Mayor, believes the landing tax will create income needed to help the city maintain its beauty despite heavy tourism. The money would go to basics like keeping the city clean.

Local residents, workers and students will, of course, all be exempt from the tax. Officials say that cruise ship passengers are much easier to identify and that it may be difficult to tax tourists arriving by air or land.

Posted by Victor Crew on

World Famous Beach to Close Due to Over Use

One of the most visited beaches in the world—the one made famous by the film The Beach featuring Leonardo DiCaprio—will close, indefinitely, because it needs to recover from damages caused by millions of visitors over the years.

Maya Bay, known for its incredibly blue, clear water and golden sands, surrounded by the Ko Phi Phi Leh Island cliffs, is one of Thailand’s highest volume tourist areas since it made its Hollywood debut in The Beach.

Up to 5,000 visitors and 200 boats a day would visit the relatively small beach which, over time, has caused incredible environmental damage. Authorities are now calling for a one-year minimum closure of the beach.

Tourism has caused a laundry list of issues from the pollution caused by litter, boats and sun screen to the Maya Bay coral of which only about 20% remains alive, according to estimates. However, the beach brought in a little over the equivalent of 12 million USD each year, thus authorities were reluctant to close it even though there was evidence of the grave damage for years.

Posted by Jody Victor's Crew on

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas

Fabulous Las Vegas SignWhile many people world-wide would likely recognize her seminal design work – the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign in Las Vegas, Nevada – most probably have probably never heard of Betty Whitehead Willis, the designer of the iconic sign. She died this week at the age of 91.

The Neon Museum of Las Vegas also credits her with the creation of the Blue Angel Motel sign and the Moulin Rogue Hotel sign. Retiring from design at the age of 77, Willis never trademarked her most famous work saying it was “my gift to the city.”

These days it wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination to say that the recreation of this design on t-shirts and other tourist trap treasures has probably resulted in millions of dollars of profit.

Willis was a Las Vegas native who attended art school in L.A. She first work for Fox West Coast Theaters in L.A. designing advertisements. Later she returned to Las Vegas where she worked at the courthouse, but finally landed a job creating neon signs at Western Neon. It was at Western Neon she designed the famous sign.