FOXTROTS

 

 

Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning. 

Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.

 

 

2009 January 26

Obamania. Infects travel.

Worldwide interest in the new US president Barack Hussein Obama is also being felt in the travel business. Obama has been recruited to promote travel – to some of the many places with which he can be associated.

 

This is not the first time that a new US president has motivated tourism, although an international connection is not common. For instance, Plains got a visitor boost when President Carter was elected, and so did Crawford in Texas for President Bush.

 

In order of credibility, Obamania venues include:

 

[] Hawaii, Obama’s birthplace, is the most likely to enjoy an Obaboom. An Obama Tour visits the places he lived (an apartment tower with his grandmother, and a smaller apartment block where his mother and sister lived), his school (Punahou, in the 1970s, when he graduated), where he played basketball, went to the movies, and first went to work. It’s all there; well, almost.

 

[] Chicago, Obama’s current home town; the city’s visitor authorities suggest visitors to “experience the city the Obamas enjoy”. The Illinois Bureau of Tourism has a 3-day getaway promotion featuring Barack Obama sites, including the visit of its Chicago neighbourhood at Hyde Park (where he currently lives). The package should be available from January 20, when Obama is due to be sworn in as president.

 

[] In Jakarta, Indonesia, the small art-deco-style small house where Obama (and his mother with her second (Indonesian) husband) stayed in the early 1970s, starting getting visitors after Obama’s nomination as a presidential candidate last August. Same for the school he attended there.

 

[] At some travel trade shows, Kenya’s visitor-promotion-office displays a giant picture of the future US president and distributes Obama pins. Tour operators from markets in Europe and North America take travellers for one day or more in Kogelo area, the land of Obama’s forefathers.

 

[] Most surprising, perhaps, is the growth of visitors to the city of Obama – yes there is one, but in Japan! The port city, 400km west of Tokyo with a population of only 32,000, has experienced a growing interest from Japanese travellers. The Obama-hype has prompted Obama city to produce souvenirs such as T-shirts and chopsticks showing pictures of the president-elect.

 

Question: Will Busch Gardens in Florida now change its name? 

 

 

The Fox