Bristol

Bristol uses 'iconic' characters to boost tourism

Destination Bristol has launched a campaign called You've got a friend in Bristol to increase the city's tourism.

It is using "iconic" Bristol characters to draw in visitors as well as encouraging residents to invite friends and family to come and stay.

Destination Bristol said friends and relatives of residents accounted for almost 40% of domestic and international visits to the city.

Characters like Wallace and Gromit and Mr Brunel will be welcoming visitors.

These characters will share recommendations of activities and things to see in the city using an online "friend profile".

Destination Bristol managing director John Hallett said: "We were looking at new and slightly tongue-in-cheek ways to raise awareness about Bristol ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.

"We need to try and build the visitor economy this year as times are getting tighter and people are beginning to tighten their purse strings a little bit."

Residents will be provided with free postcards to invite people to the city using "buy one, get one free" offers to family members.

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