It’s the corporate mindset: if you piss off your customers by treating them like dirt, the solution is to continue treating them like dirt but spend on an expensive advertising campaign to fool them into forgetting about it.
Take the new US plan to encourage tourists wary of the country’s Bush-era hostility towards visitors (you know, where they fingerprint incoming foreigners like criminals) to come and visit again:
- Spend $200 million on an advertising campaign pretending that the country wants visitors (rather than just tolerating them as the people who might bring in cash);
- Charge said visitors a fee each to pay for it;
Of course tourists should pay for a program that’s entirely for their benefit:
The campaign is expected to increase visitor numbers by an estimated 1.6 million travellers, while restoring a more relaxed and welcoming image of America in a security-conscious era… It is estimated the campaign could bring into the US an extra $US4 billion in tourism spending a year, creating more than 40,000 jobs
You can’t expect the industry that’s going to profit to pay for its OWN advertising!
An alternative way of restoring a more relaxed and welcoming image of America would be not treating visitors like threatening scum, but that’s not exactly a change they want to make.