What do you do when your tourism numbers are in a steady fall, thanks to your not-so-friendly image around the world? Make a promotional video, of course. Remember the Incredible India campaign? Well, the United States never had a problem earlier attracting tourists as everyone wanted a piece of her. But as Guiliani likes to say, 9/11 changed everything (except diapers) and couple of years of bone-headed cowboy diplomacy later, the U.S. Tourism department needed some help from Hollywood. Of course, they forgot to mention that it isn’t exactly a movie but more like advertising where depicting truth is kinda expected.
In spite of having breathtaking vistas all over the country, the 7-minute film also included shots of Canada’s Niagara Falls instead of the New York side of the landmark. A Niagara Falls historian called it an insult for the Canadians as the shot depicted wasn’t only 100% Canada but was also shot from the Canadian side. The State Department spokesman instantly sprung into action relying on the sharing of natural wonders argument how everyone who sees the video is smart enough to understand that America is only sharing the magnificent falls with its rightful owner on the North. Do they also have a similar sharing agreement on its southern border? Nah! They just want to share a wall down there. Everyone who has been to Niagara Falls and that includes almost every Desi on this continent knows that the pretty views are from the Canadian side. Of course, we have the pretty little park and the souvenir shop on this side of the border but the real attraction is all that gushing water.
So how about sticking to our side of the border and focusing on the still-aplenty natural wonders that will bring people into your country Of course, once you get them even on a cultural exchange there isn’t any compulsion to treat them well.