Vancouver Tourism Website to Help City Recover from New Riot Rep

Posted Jun 23rd 2011 10:45 AMUpdated Jun 23rd 2011 12:09 PM

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Vancouver Tourism doesn't want anyone getting the wrong idea about the citizens of Canada's third largest city because of one measly riot.

To prevent the spread of misconceptions, the organization has gone on the hipster offensive, creating Tumblr website ThisIsOurVancouver.com, where would-be travelers to Puget Sound can bathe in overweening Canadian pleasantness.

The citizens of Vancouver – and other flannel-clad ruffians – took to the streets last week after the Boston Bruins dismantled the Canucks in game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals. Hockey hooligans torched cars, shattered shop windows and fought with police.


The city awoke with a hangover and a PR problem. Vancouver had always been known as a clean and friendly destination, the perfect base camp for all the eco-adventures available in British Columbia. Had the city finally exposed its dark heart?


The short answer: No.


The day after the riots Vancouver citizens started giving out free hugs and made the boarded up windows of local stores into "Walls of Love" (also dubbed "Apology Walls") by covering them with supportive messages to their neighbors and to the city itself. Basically everyone went back to being friendly, polite and physically fit.


"This is Our Vancouver," which purports to show that "the actions of a few aren't a true reflection of our city," places the city on the less than elite list of destinations that have been forced to run rather embarrassing campaigns to rehabilitate their image to tourists after outbreaks, or years, of violence. Also on the list: Tunisia, which is currently joking about its recent revolution, Myanmar, which bills itself as "undiscovered" rather than cut-off and repressive, and Chechnya, where the deputy tourism minister made this underwhelming pitch to Britain's The Telegraph after the area opened for tourism in 2006: "It is like Switzerland, only without roads."


Vancouver: It is like Disney World, only without the lines.

Filed Under: News, Arts & Culture

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