The travel industry is no stranger to ridiculous tourism slogans – but one has been deemed so offensive that one city council has moved to ban it.
Darwin City Council this week voted to ban products adorned with “CU in the NT”, the unofficial slogan of the Northern Territory in Australia, from being sold at local markets.
The group behind the unofficial campaign, NT Unofficial, launched the slogan in 2016 with the tagline: “The Top End. Different from the bottom end.” The campaign, to promote awareness of the Australian state, soon went viral.
As well as promoting the Northern Territory via its website and social media, the group sells a wide range of merchandise emblazoned with the slogan, including t-shirts, flip-flops and hats.
The motion to ban the products from sale at public markets in Darwin was passed by council officials this week, according to local media, who labelled the slogan immature and offensive.
In a statement, the group responded to the furore by saying that the slogan was “to promote a quick and easy way to invite your friends to the Northern Territory”.
“It’s a simple, easy to remember, cheerful way to invite your mates on a holiday to the territory.”
It added: “We feel like it is a knee jerk reaction that has ignored the vast majority of the local population who love and celebrate the CU in the NT Brand.”
“If there is an upside to this whole debacle, it’s that it has drawn even more media attention to the beautiful Northern Territory which we continue to promote, inviting more people to CU in the NT every single day.
“Going forward, we will continue to tirelessly promote the Northern Territory as we always have.”
It’s not the first time that a tourism slogan has raised eyebrows. Last summer, tourism officials for Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, launched a campaign describing the city as “the G-spot of Europe”, adding that “nobody knows where it is, but when you find it – it’s amazing”.