Can This Japanese Monster Save a City's Tourism Industry

The rural Japanese city of Saga thinks you'd visit for an alien slug.

You know the rural city of Saga, Japan, attracts around 15 million tourists every year with its balloon festival. That’s a lot, but not enough to bolster the flagging local economy, so Saga is taking its tourism outreach program in a weird direction. The new focus: carnivorous alien snakes. 

To put itself on the non-balloon map, Saga is promoting a mini horror film about blind, eel-looking horror creatures in the Ariake Sea. This is charming for two reasons:

1. The Green Eel Goby is a totally harmless, if particularly foul looking, fish.

2. This idea is just crazy enough to work. Japan has a thriving horror culture and the idea of confronting the “Alien of Ariake” might well resonate with domestic travelers. Hell, it’s already working: The ad has generated around $1 million worth of publicity just by being ridiculous.

Media via Saga