A Tourism Office Divided

A blog about business and economics.
June 16 2013 11:29 AM

A Tourism Office Divided

Chinese lions open the way on July 6, 2012, on the Grand Place in Brussels, to Belgian and Chinese personalities, heading to attend a ceremony at the nearby famous Manneken-Pis fountain.
Chinese lions open the way on July 6, 2012, on the Grand Place in Brussels, to Belgian and Chinese personalities, heading to attend a ceremony at the nearby famous Manneken-Pis fountain.

Photo by Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images

Now that I'm back in the United States, I'm happy to report that Belgium seems to function just fine despite near-paralysis of federal politics over bitter disputes between francophone Wallonia and Dutch-speaking Flanders. But it does lead to some amusing levels of inefficiency. For example, here near the heart of the Brussels tourist district is an information office trying to convince people to leave town and go visit some Flemish towns:

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And directly across the street is the rival information office trying to convince people to leave town and go visit some Walloon towns instead:

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That's how it goes.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.