Posted by: Waheeda Harris | June 8, 2012

Lured by local advertising

Near an old apartment of mine, a low-rise building had a billboard on its roof, which would always change to a resort ad as soon as the winter snow would fly.

As locals would trudge through slush and snow, we would see an image of palm trees and beach beckoning us to fly off to a tropical place.

Although I looked at that billboard all the time, it was never a lure for my holiday plans. I was always making plans because of friends, family, music, art exhibits – other reasons to make plans or to zip away for a weekend or a week.

When I’m travelling I’m always curious to see how countries or cities promote themselves, although a lot of it doesn’t seem to be a lure to me.

I appreciate the great photography, and the tv commercials or videos that offer a picture perfect place for someone to spend their precious holiday time. But there’s part of me that wishes that there was another way to encourage the tourist to pick a spot.

On the island of Grenada, I was lucky enough to have a guide who showed me the creation of a local business owner, who owned a bar and club as well as took some local refuse and decided to create his own welcome to Grenada display.

Using tires, paint, plants and his own time, this local wanted to make sure visitors knew they were welcome on the island – and the colorful display is a welcome spot for anyone to make a stop.

Seeing this local advertising made me wish everyone could see this sign – a simple welcome, yet one that says much more than the perfect sunset over the beach.

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