Posted by: Stacy Perman on August 26, 2008
There are few successful outfits that don’t have a website. Today having one is considered an almost indispensible tool for conducting, doing, and marketing one’s business. That is apparently except for the country of Italy. According to today’s WSJ, the nation’s tourist board has spent some $66 million and five years building a web portal to attract tourists and boost the country’s global image. When it went live last February, the site was full of embarrassing gaffes such as proclaiming a typical seafood dish from the Marche coastal region as “pork with prunes,” a menu actually known to be popular farther east, much farther east, as in Poland (not to mention that pork has never been considered a variety of seafood).
Apparently one of the reasons floating about as to why the site has been such a disaster is the combination of too many people involved (and too many governments) in producing it as well as the staggering amount of money thrown at the project. There must be a lesson in here somehere…
Several government ministries — in two administrations — and each of Italy’s 20 regions were involved in creating the portal. Associations of travel agencies and hotel owners had their say as well, while the design and creation of the site was assigned to a consortium of three different companies. There was “no single guide telling us where to go with this,” says Luca Palamara, former managing editor of www.italia.it.