African Tourism Groups Hilariously Mock Trump’s 'Sh*thole Countries' Comment
Donald Trump’s comment at a meeting on immigration earlier in January during which he allegedly used the phrase "shithole countries" to refer to El Salvador, Haiti, and countries in Africa sparked international condemnation and debate. But Trump’s comments unintentionally inspired a wave of creative advertising from African tourism companies and departments. Could Trump’s racist remark inadvertently boost tourism to Africa?
As the Wall Street Journal reported, marketing campaigns making fun or playing off of the “shithole” remark have appeared in “more than a dozen countries.”
Here are a few examples.
1. Video advertising Namibia
The tourist company Gondwana Collection released a video advertising Namibia as “one of the best shithole countries out there.” The video features narration done in an impression of Donald Trump’s voice, and highlights the remarkable landscapes and wildlife of Namibia, while also taking jabs at Trump’s disregard for climate change. The video closes with a reminder that Trump called Namibia “Nambia” during his speech at the United Nations in September.
2. Facebook post marketing Zambia
A photo post to the Facebook page for Zambiatourism.com riffs off Trump’s comment. Superimposed on a golden-hued photo, the words “Visit ***hole Zambia” appear, along with “Where the only stars and stripes you’ll have to see are in the sky and on a zebra!” The post’s caption takes it one step further: “Where beautiful vistas and breathtaking wildlife are our trump card!”
3. Airbnb ads
Airbnb also capitalized on the remark, tweeting out a video highlighting not just Africa, but also Haiti and El Salvador:
There's been some expletive-filled interest in some of the most beautiful destinations (with some of the most hospi… https://t.co/wbESgQevEf— Airbnb (@Airbnb)1517276684.0
Airbnb’s presence in Africa continues to grow both in terms of available listings and in the number of guests.
In the U.S., Americans have been biting back in response to the offensive remark. At the State of the Union speech Tuesday night, lawmakers who are part of the Congressional Black Congress wore Kente cloth in protest. Anthony Bourdain, who hosts the travel and food show "Parts Unknown," took to Twitter to point out the fortuitous timing of a particular "Parts Unknown" marathon:
Grateful to @CNN for the well timed marathon of all-Africa #PartsUnknown . People should SEE the countries our pres calls “shitholes”!— Anthony Bourdain (@Anthony Bourdain)1515937502.0
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be visiting Africa in March for an “extended visit,” according to a letter sent to the African Union, probably to patch things over diplomatically.