The Yukon News reports that some Yukon tourism operators are having trouble with a fraudulent web site (Suspicious website troubles Yukon B&B owners).
Liesel Briggs has sought assistance from Yukon Tourism in rectifying the matter, and rightly so. Tourism is a bread and butter industry for the Territory, and the government simply can’t afford to let this sort of activity get out of hand. It won’t take much for it to irreparably damage the Yukon’s reputation. I can already imagine our new nickname: the Nigeria of the North.
However, action shouldn’t be taken against whatever loser is squatting at the other end of yukonvacation.com. That’s just a waste of time.
Instead, the government should devise some sort of online verification system for yukon tourism web sites. This would be a relatively simple system to devise and establish, and it would spin positively as a defense in the interests of prospective visitors.
Simply put, the government could set up and maintain some sort of authoritative registry of Yukon tourism operators’ web sites. A simple ID key, possibly encryption-based, would be issued for each web site.
A simple logo could be designed, stating something like “Authentic Yukon Tour Operator – Click Here to Verify”. From each tourism web site, the click would send the visitor to the authoritative government system for verification. Web sites that might illicitly use the logo would fail.
The sort of verification system would serve two purposes, really. Primarily, it would validate “true” Yukon tourism operators. Secondly, it would provide visitors to the sites with piece of mind that they’re dealing with genuine businesses.
A tertiary effect, and one that could be spun off into a larger marketing plan, would be to establish a verification system for an “authentic” Yukon experience.
The government can’t sit idly by and hope sites like yukonvacation.com go away. It’s imperative that something be done to protect the reputation and interests of one of the Territory’s key industries.