Travel advertising. The cliche of a lifetime

All advertising trades on cliches, it needs to. Christmas is always snowing, Father Christmas is jolly and rotund; and families are always happy. This allows us to share a cultural stereotype and all feel slightly better about the annual liver destroying, gorge fest. The emergence of this years Christmas ads got me thinking about travel advertising and the tsunami of cliches involved including these classics

Holiday of a lifetime 

Sit back and relax and we’ll do it for you (whatever it is)

Pamper yourself in our spa

Tropical paradise

Sun kissed beaches

Exciting nightlife

This will be presented with stock photographs of smiling young couple in the waves, the totally ubiquitous photograph of a woman laying on a treatment bench with hot rocks on her bare spine. Has anyone every had this treatment and is it as unpleasant as it looks? If the holiday is a cruise, the images will be older couple (attractive with a touch of grey) man in natty white or blue blazer with Panama hat looking contentedly out to see. She will have a glint in her eye that says either I hope he doesn’t want sex or I could push him overboard for the life insurance. Or maybe that’s just how I read it.

The reality is of course further from the truth. After a six hour delay you arrive at the Hotel Bastardo and I find the pool has been closed by the health inspectors, the sun kissed beach has just suffered an oil spill and the tennis court has been over run with vile children who are screaming 11 hours a day.

I’m more sanguine. The travelling is never pleasant, the hotels not quite what you image and you make your own memories.

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