Romania launched its new tourism brand, under the slogan Explore the Carpathian Garden, in the presence of Tourism and Regional Development minister Elena Udrea in Shanghai on Thursday. But the moment was shadowed by controversy back home as bloggers revealed that part of the logo is almost identical to an image available for cheap on the internet.
Just several minutes before the brand, aimed at luring foreign tourists to Romania, was launched officially at the Shanghai international fair, several Romanian bloggers read on Thursday morning that Romania's logo is almost identical with the logo of British transport project Change Transport - the information first appeared on Piticu.ro blog and was quickly quoted by the press. The item of the brand logo - a green leaf - is available in online stock image databases for up to 250 dollars and has been used by various companies, including a Romanian chemical plant and a British company, as bloggers have reported.
In return, Elena Udrea declared that the product was purchased after a public tender from a big brand company, THR-TNS, which developed the foreign brand strategy the logo was just a part of. And minister Udrea underlined the company's experience on the market with contracts in Spain, Greece, US or Cuba. The brand was launched in Shanghai in the presence of several hundreds of people, mostly Romanians.
The launch was preceded by a concert of the famous Romanian Gheorghe Zamfir performing a national instrument, nai. Romania's Foreign Affairs minister Teodor Baconschi was present together with famous Romanian sportsmen Gheorghe Hagi, Ilie Nastase and Nadia Comaneci, Romania's icons.
The brand purchased from the company took about 800,000 euro from the tourism brand budget, Tourism minister Udrea said. She said that all copyrights were given for the brand created, together with a guarantee that the company that created the logo owns every right.
HotNews.ro also revealed in its Romanian language version today that as the tourism brand for Romania was launched several key online domain names related to the brand had already been reserved by a small firm - some eight days before the first details about the slogan appeared.
And another journalist blogger, Catalin Tolontan (tolo.ro), notes on his blog today that the brand aims at exploring, adventurous foreigners despite that the long-term tourism strategy of Romania, established several years ago and covering the period until 2026, notes that foreign visitors to Romania interested in exploration and adventure spend no more than a few days here. The strategy, as noted by the quoted source, focuses on other points of attraction - Bucharest, the Danube Delta and the Black Sea.