Tourism Ambassadors: Pigs and Pop Stars Say 'Come on Down'

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
leozaza/Flickr
Hong Kong just announced that the face of its summer campaign would have a snout, as McDull the cartoon pig became the island's official tourism ambassador. McDull joined the strange and strangely diverse group of celebrities, non-celebrities and cartoons that make up the tourism diplomatic core - the first line of defense against stasis.Hong Kong just announced that the face of its summer campaign would have a snout, as McDull the cartoon pig became the island's official tourism ambassador. McDull joined the strange and strangely diverse group of celebrities, non-celebrities and cartoons that make up the tourism diplomatic core - the first line of defense against stasis.

Below are a few profiles of the august members of one of travel's most unusual clubs, the core of the official amiable. They are palatable. They are handsome. They are standard-bearers.


10 PHOTOS
Tourism Ambassadors
See Gallery
Tourism Ambassadors: Pigs and Pop Stars Say 'Come on Down' (PHOTOS)

The Hong Kong Tourism Board selected McDull, an animated pig famous for his complete lack of memorable qualities, to represent the island state for the summer season this week.


The selection was something of an upset: The porcine plugger beat out Jackie Chan and Andy Lau for the honor. The tourism board told the Telegraph that McDull was an excellent candidate precisely because he is an animated character and thus is "scandal free." The talking traif takes his name from the Cantonese word for plastic basin and has been sculpted into a gigantic wax model by artisans from Madame Tussauds for some reason.

Rihanna signed on this month for a three-year partnership with the Barbados Tourism Authority. In August, the Caribbean chanteuse will perform in Bridgetown, the island nation's largest city.


Barbados is a beautiful place, Rihanna is a beautiful girl. The whole thing will likely hum along beautifully until some island official tries to label the singer "Duty Free."

Sir Edmund, one of the first two men to summit Mount Everest, served not only as a tourist ambassador for the country, but also as New Zealand's real ambassador to India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Hillary was knighted in 1953 and passed away in 2008.

The shoe designer makes a good fit as the representative of an increasingly style-obsessed country.


With Kuala Lumpur is all but overrun by other designers - visitors can't throw a stiletto without hitting a new Louis Vuitton or Diane Von Furstenberg outlet - Choo was enlisted in 2009 to promote Malaysia as a cosmopolitan destination. 

A famous character in Brazil, Monica in Brasilia is a precious visitor to the nation's capital with a camera and without parental supervision.


Though she looks like result of a tryst between the cartoon character Cathy's and a Latin chipmunk, Monica is apparently quite winning to South Americans. Doesn't translate.

Indonesia Tourism Ministry was pumped when the "American Gigolo" announced he would be visiting the country this June and prepared to offer him an honorary tourist ambassadorship.


Gere is a well-known Buddhist, which works nicely because many of the country's biggest tourist attractions, notably Borobudur, are temples. No word yet on Gere's reaction. He'll have to meditate on it.

The fashion designer's turn as an ambassador for Mexico City this year was not based on his heritage - he's half Dominican, half Puerto Rican - but for his affinity for the chaotic capital, which boasts mucho mucho upscale boutiques.


Fashion icons do make logical tourism ambassadors as they are deeply concerned about maintaining an attractive image. They also get invited to talk to Barbara Walters on "The View".

The great scientist's great-great-grandaughter represents the Galapagos Conservation Trust, a U.K.-based organization that advocates for the protection of the volcanic (and popular) Ecuadorian islands her forebear made famous after his voyage on The Beagle.

Though Sarah Darwin has received no official recognition from the local government, she has become the face of the island's internationally, undertaking voyages and speaking in an effort to expose her blue-footed boobys to the public.

Remember that really good looking tough girl in "Terminator Salvation"? South Korea does.


Bloodgood, who is of Korean decent, was named an ambassador in 2009. It seems very possible that Tourism Ministry just thought she had a bitchin' name.

of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


Read Full Story

People are Reading