Misleading holidaymakers

By | Category: Travel rumblings

On the coast not far from Cardiff lies Penarth. It’s a seaside resort and one which hardly ever makes the news.

The pier in Penarth – one of the reason to visit the town. This is a genuine image and not one of building in Magaluf!

In recent years it has been nominated as one of the best places to live in Wales. It is also the home of the Penarth Daily News, an independently run website that publishes stories about the town.

I am grateful to it for a story it ran last Friday. In publicity about the tourism delights of the place the local council concentrated on an image of a beach. Quite an inviting beach except that it wasn’t the beach in the town. It was of Magaluf in Mallorca!

You can interpret the use of a picture of the beach in Mallorca in any number of ways. The first is that incompetent staff in the town council (if indeed they are responsible for the publicity) didn’t check what the picture was and assumed it was a stock beach image. Or you can say that the tourism staff couldn’t even recognise their own beach in which case should they be working in the tourism department? You might even wonder who briefed whoever was responsible for the ad and what tourism qualities they possessed.

All-in-all it was a shambles and the Penarth Daily News followed the story with questions to the council. The council had the crass temerity to say that the use of Magaluf was deliberate to spark interest. There was no irony in the words used on the brochure so it looks more like deception rather than an attempt at humour.

All it has done is to make the council a laughing stock. People unfamiliar with Penarth might reasonably ask themselves whether there is anything worth promoting in the town if it has to pass itself off as looking like somewhere else.

The answer, incidentally, is that Penarth is well worth a visit. Just don’t ask the tourist office or the town council on what to see.

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