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TRAVEL & TOURISM

Little big embarrassment

ONE and a half years ago, the Economy Ministry and the Slovak Tourist Board proudly introduced a new logo and motif to promote Slovakia to the world as an attractive tourist destination. But the campaign perhaps generates as much embarrassment as it does tourists.

ONE and a half years ago, the Economy Ministry and the Slovak Tourist Board proudly introduced a new logo and motif to promote Slovakia to the world as an attractive tourist destination. But the campaign perhaps generates as much embarrassment as it does tourists.

It seems the campaign took a little too much "inspiration" from others.

A butterfly and the motto "Little Big Country" should have become the new symbols of Slovakia. At the press conference held June 1, 2004, the then-Economy Minister Pavol Rusko said: "The butterfly motif is modern and light. It has life, energy, colour and delicacy. It has mystery and something that inspires interest. It has everything that Slovakia has as well."

Well, Slovakia is apparently not the first one to use the butterfly as a symbol for its country. The daily SME recently reported that a Japanese foundation responsible for promoting Japan abroad has been using the butterfly for ages. And isn't "Little Big Country" inspired by the slogan for Bratislava (and other cities across the world, for that matter) "Little Big City"?, the SME asked.

Just weeks after the new campaign went public, the business weekly Trend revealed that one "Slovak" mountain presented in the tourist package resembled the highest peak in the Czech Republic, Sněžka. Employees of Krkonoše National Park in the Czech Republic later confirmed that the picture included in Slovakia's Little Big Country campaign presentation really was Sněžka.

J.A.M. film and PR agency Media In, the suppliers of the campaign, were close to then-Economy Ministry Rusko, who ordered the campaign, the weekly Týždeň reported.


Compiled by Marta Ďurianová
from press reports

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