Minnesota tourism agency told not to laugh in tourists’ faces

An information booth in New York CityIt’s probably the same with every tourism agency. People don’t understand the locale and call with strange requests. Recently, an article appeared in Minnesota’s Star Tribune directing savvier travelers to laugh at the craziest ones in a list compiled by Explore Minnesota Tourism‘s Chuck Lennon, Explore Minnesota Tourism’s Quirkiest Queries of 2009.

Chuck Lennon, who handles media relations, asked counselors from the call-in lines and 11 travel information centers to send him their oddest requests. The responses included:

  • “Where are the Indians? We want to go see them.”
  • “Is there such a thing as an easy fishing lake? Something without having to hunt and work real hard?”
  • “I’m coming in July and I want snowmobile rental information.”
  • “Does one need a travel permit or visa to visit Minnesota?”
  • “A traveler asking to see a bridge in Minnesota with arches was shown various photos, none of which seemed right to her. She finally identified a picture of the St. Louis Gateway Arch as the right attraction, and was given directions to Missouri.”

According to Lennon, the counselors are trained with the following advice: “Don’t laugh in their faces. Calm yourself and just deal with it.”
[via Star Tribune]