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The Independent, Friday December 3, 2010.

New Geelong tourism campaign

‘Talk up’ your city to visitors SANTA PHOTOS

Photos with Santa on the beach @ Centro Newcomb 4th, 11th, 18th & 20th Dec. from 11.00am - 2.00pm Bookings essential al tthrough hro RE ESS p h: 5 248 8 8 KODAK EXPRESS ph: 5248 8888

for t f i g e Fre ld! i h c h eac Talking it up: Nicholas Heath promotes the Geelong message. Picture: Tommy Ritchie 57528 stuff” close to home. Tourism Geelong also discovered from further analysis that between 40 and 50 per cent of the market were visiting friends and relatives rather than tourists with no connection to the city, he said. “It’s got to do with the fact that Geelong is not a destination not quite the same as the Surf Coast might be. It’s the sort of place that you tend to look for an ensemble experience; that you are not just

after one particular aspect. “I think in a time when people are looking for value for money, going to visit friends and relatives is a pretty affordable option as a holiday concept. “Our proximity to Melbourne has a lot to do with it, too.” The Independent is a sponsor of the tourism campaign.

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BY ANDREW MATHIESON TOURISM experts struggling to identify Geelong’s true identity have turned to residents to sell their city. Residents will lead a new campaign also pushing Geelong as a “pretty affordable option” for visiting friends and relatives who account for up to half of the city’s visitors. Tourism Geelong president Nicholas Heath said a tourism seminar earlier this year heralded a change of direction for marketing the city. “There has been a growing realisation among tourism professionals that we aren’t addressing this market as well as we should,” Mr Heath said. Tourism Geelong launched, as part of the campaign, a website last Friday, asking residents to send e-cards of favourite places and activities in the city and to share their stories. The campaign launch included a pull-out replica of an historic Geelong tourism marketing poster in last week’s Independent. Mr Heath, a marketing expert, said empowering Geelong residents to take control was the key to the campaign. “It’s all about giving them the information and the tools so they can pass them on,” he said. “And at the psychological level, giving them permission to say they are proud of their town.” Mr Heath said surveys had also indicated residents were often unaware of “all the really good

The Independent, Friday December 3, 2010