Swansea to feature in major French magazine
MILLIONS of French people from Calais to the Cote D'Azur will be reading about Swansea this weekend.
A five-page feature on the city is being included on Saturday in L'Equipe Magazine – a weekly off-shoot of popular daily sports newspaper L'Equipe.
L'Equipe Magazine has a readership of about 4.2 million – that's more people than the combined populations of major French cities like Lyon and Marseilles.
Paris-based journalist Erik Bielderman spent three days in Swansea.
His article will mainly focus on the success of the Swans in the Premier League but it will also look at the history and attractions of the Swansea Bay area.
The feature comes in the midst of an intensive Swansea Council marketing campaign aimed at making the most of Premier League status.
Erik said: "We wanted to visit Swansea because it's a Welsh team in the Premier League and their success has been a surprise to many people.
"We're mainly going to write about the football but we will also give a perspective of Swansea's history and where the city is located.
"I had thought Swansea would be an industrial city but it's very much regenerated in terms of services and businesses. I didn't realise it had been bombed during the Second World War so I wasn't expecting Swansea to be so modern. The five-mile promenade is beautiful and the city is close to some fantastic beaches. I'm sure it's a great place for visiting fans to explore.
"The Premier League offers worldwide exposure and is a great advertising opportunity for a city."
Many thousands of visiting supporters have already come to Swansea so far this season to see their teams in action.
Cllr Graham Thomas, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Recreation and Tourism, said: "Swansea's profile is being raised across the world because of the Premier League and the L'Equipe Magazine article will further help put the city on the international map.
"We're working hard to market the city in the footballing heartlands of the UK and overseas to encourage people to spend time in Swansea Bay instead of just travelling back and forth for 90 minutes of football. The campaigns are also aimed at encouraging non-football fans in these areas to visit to piggyback on the increased profile that Swansea has as a result of its Premier League status.
"The dedicated fans corner of the official destination website is proving especially popular and statistics show our marketing activities are having a real impact."
Chelsea fan Ruth Morgan said: "We visited Swansea mainly for the football but we stayed a little longer to see what the city was like and have been left with a fantastic impression.
"We'll certainly return to Swansea in the future so we hope the Swans stay in the Premier League. It's good to see that football can be so positive for tourism."
Have a look at http://visitswanseabay.com for more information.
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