This Small Canadian Island Just Launched a Pretty Ingenious Tourism Anti-Campaign

Tell your friends it's awful

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The people of Bowen Island in British Columbia have a love-hate relationships with tourists. To emphasize that, the island has released a startling new community identity: "Tell your friends it's awful here." 

"We love to show off our island, but we don't want it to be overrun with tourists," explains Chris Staples, a Bowen resident and founder of Vancouver-based agency Rethink. "We want visitors, but only if they really 'get' what makes Bowen special." 

Inspired by the grassroots "Keep Portland Weird" campaign—whose confidence Staples says Bowen residents admire—the project is the fruit of about two years of work by the Municipal Economic Development Committee, which is run by volunteers.

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