US State Department apologises over travel tip for the less attractive

People wait in a security line at John F. Kennedy Airport, New York City, on March 24, 2016.
People wait in a security line at John F. Kennedy Airport, New York City, on March 24, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US Department of State issued an apology on Wednesday (March 30) after posting a tweet that seemed to proffer travel advice for those whose looks are less than a perfect 10.

"Some have been offended by our earlier tweet and we apologise that it came off negatively," the Bureau of Consular Affairs posted on its Twitter account, after pulling down the offending message.

US media posted screenshots of the tweet, part of a campaign warning those headed overseas on Spring Break, a week-long vacation when US university students famously tend to party, how to stay out of trouble while abroad.

"Not a '10' in the US? Then not a 10 overseas. Beware of being lured into buying expensive drinks or worse-being robbed" the bureau advised on its @TravelGov account.

What was apparently meant as a warning against potential scams initiated by unusual amounts of flattery or alcohol, quickly became the subject of mockery on the Internet.

A spoof Twitter account that appeared in the wake of the post offered its own warnings: "If you're not a '10' in the United States consider whether travel is really going to fill the void inside you."

The Bureau of Consular Affairs said on Twitter it had only been trying to prevent Americans from becoming victims while overseas in the series of tweets, which were hashtagged #springbreakingbadly.

"We see many Americans fall victim to scams each year & want all to be careful while traveling," the bureau tweeted.

Its other posts offered sound advice with a little less lip such as: "Beware of drink spiking and robbery scams when you're travelling abroad."