What’s in a Name?

By | Category: Travel news

Ever been to Disneyworld in Florida? The new Harry Potter theme park? Or Universal Studios? If you had then you will have travelled to Orlando to see it. And you might have picked up a brochure or two from the local tourist board which is, or rather was, the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau or something like that. No longer. It has changed its name to Visit Orlando which, you have to admit is easier on the memory and a bit more obvious for a tourist board. So in this case, the name change made sense. But tourist boards have a habit of changing their names and I can’t think that it helps a lot of the time. After all it costs money to change your letterheads, promotional material, websites not to mention business cards. And does it matter to us, the visitor?
I can see the point in the US where there are lots of cumbersome convention and visitor bureaux but normally it is abbreviated to just CVB as in Orlando CVB. Did the Orange County part matter? Obviously not since that part of the name is dropped. But over here, the idea of calling a destination Visit Bloggshire is getting old hat. We have Welcome to Yorkshire and Incredible !ndia, Innovation Norway which has Visit Norway as its tourism arm and Discover Northern Ireland.
Do the names change as they dream up another promotion? Does a new head of the tourism side decide to make a mark by changing the name? Is all that they do just confusing to the rest of us poor mortals? And how much money is wasted? Or is it a waste? Does a new name get any extra publicity? ( well, yes in the case of Visit Orlando) As long as you can search for a name such as Littlehampton, Scottish Borders, Buckinghamshire or Caldicot Castle does it matter whether it is called Visit Littlehampton, Discover Littlehampton, Littlehampton Tourist Board, Littlehampton CVB or even Little Known, Littlehampton, Little Gem? Normally, you don’t go into the tourist office and ask for it by any other name than the place name. There are a few exceptions like English Riviera and Norfolk Broads but I’ve never been quite sure where they start and where they end.
So why bother to change? It must be down to hoping to get some headlines for I can’t believe we visitors really care one way or the other.

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