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Serious Tourism Blunder!

As some of you might know, Tim is traveling across the pond to visit me for three weeks in July and August. Being a British bloke, he’s not used to the really hot summers we can have in Pennsylvania, so I’ve been trying to prepare him. Today, for example, it was 30C in Lancaster, PA. While we were on the phone (Skype), I googled “average temperatures july lancaster pa” to try and give him a decent taste on what the weather would be like.

I stumbled upon the “World Guide to Lancaster, PA”. Where do I begin on how inaccurate this website is? We can start with the website suggesting that Zoo America is located in Lancaster, when it is in fact located in Hershey, PA, about a half-hours drive. Or how about how it claims that you’ll get views of the countryside, but most of the hotels are downtown. No, I know. Let’s look at the photos. You know, the main item on the webpage that is supposed to grab people’s attention and make them want to visit the town your site is showcasing.

Photo 1 – The center square in Lancaster, PA. Nothing wrong here.
Photo 2 – The side of Central Market, the oldest market in the United States. Again, nothing wrong.
Photo 3 – “Lancaster Castle Prison”

Uhm, what?

That castle you’re looking at? Is this castle:

800px-lancaster_castle
(image provided by Wikipedia)

That castle is in fact, Lancaster Castle. In Lancaster. However, it’s not in Lancaster, PA. Heck, it’s not even in the United States. Nope. It’s in Lancaster, United Kingdom.

The “Lancaster Castle Prison” is this building:
lanco_prison
(image provided by Wikipedia)

Which is an actual county prison. The only way you’re visiting it is if you’ve broken the law.

Now, both Wikipedia entries for Lancaster Castle and Lancaster County Prison as well as the Lancaster County Prison’s website claim the Lancaster County Prison was modeled after Lancaster Castle. Personally, I can’t really see it as being an “exact replica”, but it’ll do nicely as a homage. Still though, I can’t quite justify showing an image of a castle on a tourism website that is located in another country.

I can see tourists wanting to see “the castle” and being directed over to the prison and soon being disappointed that it’s not the castle pictured on the website. Uh, sure, just drive to the Atlantic Ocean, swim for about 3,000 miles, then travel halfway up the UK to get to it.

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4 comments

4 Comments so far

  1. missm June 26th, 2009 21:24

    Tourism Fail! 😉

  2. Rebecca June 26th, 2009 21:44

    LOL seriously. I’d submit it to Fail Blog, but I think it needs more explanation than simply “Tourism Fail”. hehe

  3. Lancaster Pa Hotels August 25th, 2009 21:10

    that is not so cool men!

  4. Rebecca August 25th, 2009 21:12

    I’ve sent them emails several times with screenshots of their site, links to Lancaster UK and links to the information page about the Lancaster County (PA) Prison and they don’t even respond!

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