Yes, it's true--Oregon remains the only state ever to launch an ANTI-tourism campaign.
A few decades ago, Californians started pouring into Oregon and setting up permanent residence there. Petrified at the prospect of becoming "California II," then-governor Tom McCall uttered those famous words: "You're welcome to visit Oregon, but please don't stay." But he couldn't stop there. Pamphlets and mail-out cards began production, usually depicting a miserable Ziggy-ish man in full raingear.
Ouch! Are there even that many major cities in the world?
These mailouts ended up having the
opposite effect. Californians wondered, "if they're this
furious about us coming up there, just what are they hiding from
us?" And curiosity killed the radio star.
McCall's plan was foiled, but he did get a park by the waterfront named after him.
There have been many attempts to
get people to visit Oregon since then, but none were as effective
as this. I think they should bring that campaign back.
Much of the tourism advertising I've seen since then emphasizes the wilderness areas of Oregon above all else. The result is that most people I've talked to online think that Oregon is nothing but forests and farmland. You know, there IS an urban metropolis here, and people might be interested in knowing it exists.
If it's driving away people that's your goal, however, you can't do better than what the tourism council came up with in 1985. If McCall had ever seen the following ad, he would have been thrilled.
On the right is the ad's brightly-bald pitchman. On the left is some scientist who has invented a....well, if you REALLY want to know what's going on here, then click below...but it's beyond embarrassing. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
DOWNLOAD 1985 COMMERCIAL