Ananova reports that residents of St Maurice in Switzerland have voted against a council suggestion they change their name so as to avoid confusion with St Moritz. Locals voted to keep the town's name as it is, because mistaken bookings bring a fortune into the local economy. St Maurice, Valais, is a military base and very different from the famous mountain resort in the canton of Graubuenden. Councillors had apparently received a number of complaints from Japanese tourists who ended up in St. Maurice instead of St. Moritz, but locals who took part in the vote organised by local councillors said they were happy to benefit from the image of their more famous namesake. A tourism spokesman confirmed:
"More than a few Japanese tourists have made their way here to Saint Maurice after thinking they were headed to St Moritz , on the other side of the country. But I am sure they do not leave disappointed. We have a beautiful abbey that is very famous that they are welcome to visit".The IPKat wonders whether one town or city has ever sued another for unfair competition or passing off in respect of diversion of trade or tourism. He sagely notes that duplicated place names are a common phenomenon and he still recalls the probably apocryphal story of the Japanese city that renamed itself Sheffield so that it could imprint the legend "Made in Sheffield" on its steel products (click here and scroll down to Demented Dwarf).
Duplicate place names? Click here and here