Much has been made lately in America about authenticity in the media. What’s real, and what’s fake? Mainly though, Americans’ quest for truth has centered around the news media. But meanwhile, in Europe, fake content was proliferating somewhere you might least expect it: from a tourism board.
Indeed, Lithuania’s department of tourism admitted to using photos from other countries — specifically Finland and Slovakia — to promote its country and court travelers to come visit, according to the BBC. That’s pretty bad in itself, but it gets worse: In a cringe-worthy twist, the images ran under the slogan “Real Is Beautiful.”
The “Real is the Beautiful” Facebook page had apparently used stock photos from Shutterstock and Flickr.
When the gaffe was exposed, there were real consequences: The head of the department, Jurgita Kazlauskiene, stepped down.
Still, the department insisted that the choice of photos wasn’t really that bad, because even though they didn’t actually represent Lithuania, as advertised, they still had the ability to "communicate emotion" among would-be travelers. Emotion, yes (such as schadenfreude) — because the notion was mocked mercilessly online.
Well, even though the pictures might not have actually represented Lithuania, there are plenty of reasons why you’d still want to visit the less-discussed country in Northern Europe, north of Poland, on the Baltic Sea across from Sweden: Think pretty beaches, abundant woodlands, and the chance to get off the beaten trail a bit.
Jet Set is Bravo's launch pad for the most extravagant, luxurious, and unforgettable travel experiences. Ready for takeoff? Then Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates.