Enjoying holidays in South Wales
18 January 2013
Horse-riding on picturesque, mountainous terrain; surfing on golden, sandy beaches and golfing on velvet, lush greens.
It might sound like a famous video advert for California that starred David Beckham but this montage is advertising the South Wales borough of Bridgend.
Tourism officials for the borough have launched a viral advertising campaign they hope will showcase the area's little known charms to a wider audience.
The video, produced by local authority run BridgendBites, more than slightly resembles an advert by Visit California which hit TV screens last year, albeit without the all-star Hollywood cast including former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
It does however use a little artistic licence, and feature some clips of activities in neighbouring areas including the Neath Valley.
A spokesman for Bridgend council said: "This particular video was produced as part of a tourism competition held last year in conjunction with the Adventures Outdoor Activity Centre near Porthcawl where participants were asked to nominate what sort of activities they wanted to try.
"The winners were then invited to come to Bridgend County Borough and sample the activities as part of their prize.
"Whether it's surfing at Rest Bay, pony trekking in Merthyr Mawr or coasteering in nearby Pembrokeshire, the competition was designed to promote Bridgend County Borough as an ideal base for enjoying holidays and outdoor activities throughout South Wales."
Like the Visit California video, which boasts cameo's from Major golf champion Phil Mickelson, actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger and former LA Galaxy footballer David Beckham, Bridgend's effort focuses on the area's natural beauty, its water sport activities, good food and premium golf courses.
However there are no glittering testimonies from the area's famous faces, who might have included Bridgend born actor Ruth Jones, Porthcawl schooled Rob Brydon or local assembly member and First Minister, Carwyn Jones.
Instead, the BridgendBites campaign invites visitors to: "Sleep under the stars in a Mongolian Yurt. "Connect with nature on coastal and valley walks."Party with a thousand Elvises. "Play a round of golf with a view."Surf a wave at beautiful beaches. "Dare to discover Bridgend, South Wales."
Bridgend's new foray into the tourism industry follows efforts made by neighbouring Port Talbot last month.
The industrial heartland was subject of an advertising campaign offering lucky competition winners the chance to holiday in Port Talbot, or as they labelled it "the home of Richard Burton."
Tourist organisation Visit Wales, which is behind that campaign, hopes to highlight Wales as a visitor destination by tempting Americans with the story of Burton's rise from working class Welshman to one of the best known, richest actors on the planet.
In their advertising, Visit Wales promises Americans: "an exclusive glimpse into the places, the passion and the people that shaped the iconic actor."
Despite pre-conceptions many have about the area, Bridgend council say their borough is a perfect holiday destination.
A spokesman added: "The county borough is situated just twenty minutes from both Cardiff and Swansea and enjoys a prominent position along the M4 corridor.
"The area also features a rich cultural and historical heritage throughout its three valleys, four town centres and popular coastal resort, so it should come as no surprise that we are marketing Bridgend county borough not only as a tourist destination, but also as an ideal base for exploring further afield."
Councillor David Sage, Bridgend's deputy leader, said: "Bridgend County has so much to offer visitors, but isn't the first place that springs to mind as a holiday destination.
"We wanted to showcase the variety of unique experiences that are available here - from overnight stays in Mongolian Yurts, surfing to spas and golf to gorge-walking - and to do something really innovative that would challenge current perceptions of the area.
"The Dare to Discover campaign aimed to surprise people with what the area has to offer focussed on specific interests, targeting those that want a different kind of holiday and a 'real' adventure.
"It has already reached an estimated five million social media users and has succeeded in positioning Bridgend as a great place to visit.
"We've had positive feedback from our tourism association operators, competition winners and travel bloggers and are feeling positive about the forthcoming season."
Why not see it for yourself http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=w1xyCzexFEw#!
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