The United Nations has tapped an ambassador with universal appeal to spread its message of sustainable and responsible tourism: Hello Kitty.
As one of the most recognizable, lovable and least offensive characters in the world, Hello Kitty is a safe choice for the part.
As "Special Ambassador," the feline character will become the whiskered, bow-tied face of the United Nations World Tourism Organization's "International Year of Sustainable Tourism Development 2017." Part of her role is to educate travelers on how to be a responsible tourist.
This summer, the UNWTO launched a handbook on tourist etiquette entitled "Travel. Enjoy. Respect." reminding travelers how to practise respectful, mindful tourism.
The campaign was developed amid a tourism crisis in Europe, where disgruntled locals in Spain and Italy took to the streets in anti-tourism marches to protest overcrowding and disrespectful tourist behavior.
"Traveling is a gift," says a sweetly voiced Hello Kitty in a promotional video. "When you travel, remember to honor our planet. Respect nature, respect culture, and respect your host."
The video is being broadcast at Narita International Airport in Japan, and will be published across the UN's social media channels as well.