Whenever anyone tries to launch a social media campaign in Britain to promote the country to tourists, the response is typically quite British. The comments sections quickly fill up with observations about how rubbish the country is – some are being more serious than others – whereas any hashtag runs the risk of being hijacked by those with a different message.
Such self-deprecation would never be allowed in the likes of Saudi Arabia, that so-called modern state which likes killing journalists and jailing mothers of two for 34 years at a time for the crime of tweeting. Over the past few years, the Saudis have realised their image as a country which ignores human rights might be deterring tourists from visiting.
But rather than doing things such as actually respecting human rights, they decided to go on a marketing spree to make their country look like a modern, almost progressive place. And they don’t mind using their insane wealth to aid this – such as paying the likes of Jeff Mills $100,000 to do a set at the MDL Beast Soundstorm festival – which Ears To The House understands was on the lower scale of pay.
We wonder what these same highly paid DJs would make of the latest developments in the kingdom. This week, it was confirmed it’s now an offence for people in Saudi Arabia to say anything which could potentially harm their country in the eyes of tourists. Which hardly seems consistent with the state’s laughable claims to respect human rights laws, doesn’t it?
The new rules have been brought in as part of law changes in the state, apparently designed to incentivise growth in the tourism industry – although exact punishments for breaching the rules seem to be a matter left for the courts to decide. Still, none of this will bother those DJs who will soon be approached by MDL Beast with an offer to make their bank balances just that little bit fatter before Christmas…