From the New Europe: Marketing beautiful women to tourists

God help us! Prague has unveiled its latest desperate attempt to find a new identity and market it to tourists. I hope you are ready. The punchline, in essence, is: Come here because we have beautiful women. (And architecture, but really, who cares. Too many syllables in that word.)

As you can see from this video ad, the Czech supermodel Petra Nemcova and last year’s Miss World, Tatana Kucharova, with a kitschy backdrop of the Prague Castle, are trying to tell you that you should come to Prague because–quite frankly–everyone here looks like this and lives like this.

Before you buy your ticket, let me warn you:

  1. Not all Czech women look like this
  2. In fact, most Czech women do not look like this
  3. Those who do look like this are–don’t take this the wrong way–not waiting around to meet you. Unless of course, you are rich and famous
  4. Did I mention not all Czech women look like this?
  5. Although prices are certainly becoming top-notch, the service in a lot of “luxury places” in Prague still isn’t
  6. Then again: the Champagne they are drinking will always be there. Mercifully, the girls in the ad are not drinking beer and eating roast pork because that would make it just unbearable cheesy in a traditional culture kind of way.

I feel bad for this beautiful city sometimes. Right after the Revolution, Prague city officials were happy to get anyone to come here and spend precious hard currency. Then, they got tired of the “broke backpacker crowd” so they started marketing to the “cultured tourist”: Prague has great live music, amazing architecture…you get the idea.

That didn’t really work, either. Although Prague has great, talented musicians, you are still better off going to see opera in Vienna (granted, not as cheaply). So, they went back to the party crowd, marketing to semi-wealthy Western European folks to come here for the weekend and party it up. That is, in a nutshell, how we ended up with a bunch of stag-party types from the UK throwing up all over Prague’s mediaeval cobblestones.

With the new spot, apparently, we want to attract the “luxury travel people”, who like to engage in expensive Champagne-drinking with a view of Gothic spires while exhibiting their latest supermodel girlfriend.

I wonder what kind of undesirable Eurotrash crowd this will attract. Do I smell Gucci opening a store?