By mgieva • September 17, 2010

The Politics of a Site: Paying $4.3M for a Tourist Portal

Building a website can be expensive. Paying $15 annually for my Wordpress domain name, for instance, is always painful. But if you plan on impressing readers with appearance rather than content, plan to spend a lot more. Like, millions.

The Bulgarian Ministry of Regional Development recently announced its plans to spend 6.5 million leva (about $4.3 million) on building a new travel portal to advertise the country as a major tourist destination. The site, which currently exists here, will be revamped to include a lot more multimedia content like photos and videos. It will also be available to be viewed in nine languages.

So how exactly is the money going to be spent?

According to the Bulgarian newspaper Money, the budget will be split into building the actual site, collecting professional content and then advertising it on the Internet. All in all, that should add up to $4.3M, right? Right.

It sounds like this project extends good ol' corruption to the Web, allowing people with power to make irrational decisions on behalf of "the people." Not sure who will be building the site or contributing content for it, but it must be someone famous. As a reader commented on the topic, "For 6.5M they might as well hire Lady Gaga to sing a song about Bulgaria, and keep the change."

Photo credit: Kenny Miller