Life Travel Cheeky tourism commercial spells success for European destination

Cheeky tourism commercial spells success for European destination

The Lithuanian capital of Vilnius tried a very saucy tourism campaign – and it worked. Photo: Getty
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A European capital city caused an uproar last year when it launched a less-than-subtle X-rated tourism campaign, likening itself to a woman’s ah, pleasure zone.

There were howls of distaste. Especially because the Pope was due to visit the Lithuanian city in the weeks after its launch.

Instead of being greeted by a stoic but welcoming Catholic city, Pope Francis was walking into the “G-spot of Europe: Nobody knows where it is but when you find it, it is amazing”.

Twelve months on, the city of Vilnius is booming. Tourism is up 12.5 per cent in 12 months, especially from the UK and Germany, where the sexy slogan was sent the most.

And the advertising pitch won best destination campaign for a city at the International Travel and Tourism Awards.

The city’s tourism board director Inga Romanovskienè said the “bold idea” captured the attention of tourists, and the magic of the city did the rest.

“I believe the engaging message helped capture the attention of the consumers, then drive them to find out more about what the capital has to offer from its cultural heritage, festivals and events, and beautiful natural spaces in the middle of the city,” Ms Romanovskienè told CNN.

“It was particularly popular with the 18 to 35 millennial audience, [but] the campaign was about humour and ability to not take yourself too seriously, and I think these characteristics are especially appreciated by educated and older people.”

Vilnius reps a population of about half a million people and, as well as a cheeky sense of humour, it’s known for its medieval district of Old Town.

It’s also infamous for being a bachelor party location.


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