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British Airways puts alligator on Gatwick runway to encourage more people to visit Florida

Three models were body-painted for five hours to resemble a scaly reptile


Rachael Revesz
New York
Wednesday 25 May 2016 20:35
Seeing this from your plane window, would you hasten to Florida or hurry home?
Seeing this from your plane window, would you hasten to Florida or hurry home?

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Or is that a work of art on the runway?

British Airways is hoping an alligator at Gatwick airport will encourage visitors to visit Tampa, Florida and is offering a four-night stay in the city as part of a new marketing campaign.

The optical illusion of the alligator - three women who had undergone five hours of body painting - was created by Johannes Stoetter.

“When British Airways asked me to create an alligator I couldn’t wait,” she said. ”I normally paint and photograph my artwork in a studio, so to see my artwork in front of one of the airline’s planes on a runway was a truly great experience and possibly one of the most challenging yet.”

Tampa is enjoying more tourism and is even facing a lack of hotel rooms for rising demand.

In April the region collected $3.5 million for bed tax, as reported by the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Santiago Corrado, chief executive of Visit Tampa Bay, said: “We thoroughly enjoyed this funny and creative approach to drawing visitors to Tampa Bay and Florida.”

Alligators are a real nuisance in Tampa.

Last week a woman said what she thought was a burglar trying to get in her house turned out to be a five-foot long alligator stretched across her doorway.

The alligator is not the only recent marketing stunt from the airline. In 2014 British Airways promoted new flights between Johannesburg and London by pitting South African rugby player Bryan Habana against an A380 plane for a 100 metre race along the tarmac.

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