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Sydney beach lifestyle gets thumbs up at US Global Surf Festival


The unique surf lifestyle of Sydney and NSW proved a show stopper at the recent Nike US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach in California, the world’s largest youth culture and action sport festival.


Guy Sebastian poses with flash mobbers at the world’s largest youth culture and action sport festival, Nike US Open Surfing at Huntington Beach in California

Destination NSW, the State’s new tourism and major events body, staged a major promotion of Sydney and NSW’s beach lifestyle at the US festival last week in a bid to lure young Americans to our shores to attend the inaugural Australian Open of Surfing at Manly Beach in February 2012.

Destination NSW executive director – Tourism, Lyndel Gray said the promotion proved a huge success with more than 10,000 people visiting the
‘Sydney Surf Shack’ and sandcastle of the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and Manly Ferry over the week long festival. “Almost 2,000 people entered our competition in partnership with L.A’s number one radio station KROQ to win two trips for two to Sydney, so there was a lot of interest and publicity generated around that promotion as well,” said Gray.

“A highlight of the event was last Friday when a group of dancers donning Sydney.com branded rash shirts and swimwear performed a choreographed routine to Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian’s hit single “Do You Like It Like That”, which has been posted on You Tube and will be seeded throughout Destination NSW social channels.

“Guy himself was there to watch over the ‘flash mob’ and mingle with visitors to the Sydney Surf Shack, along with Champion NSW surfer Sally
Fitzgibbons, who won the women’s title at the US Open.


Australia’s poster boy Guy Sebastian and  Champion NSW surfer Sally Fitzgibbons were at the event promoting Sydney and NSW’s beach lifestyle

“Both Guy and Sally also attended a VIP event hosted by Destination NSW at the Hilton Huntington Beach for media and trade representatives, who
enjoyed a private acoustic performance by Guy. They are both ambassadors for our youth tourism campaign.

“The response to all of the activities we undertook was really positive and provided Sydney and NSW with the perfect opportunity to showcase our beautiful beaches and unique surf lifestyle to a global audience,” said Gray.

“The Australian Open of Surfing provided the perfect platform to showcase our State’s beautiful beaches and surf lifestyle. The event will attract the world’s elite surf and skate athletes, honour Australian and international surfing icons and showcase local music, fashion, art and youth culture.

“More than half a million people attended the US Open of Surfing last week, providing our State and surf credentials with invaluable global exposure.

“The Huntington Beach promotion is the latest step in our long term campaign to strengthen the appeal of Sydney and NSW to young holidaymakers. Sydney and regional NSW attract more than 5 million visitors in the 15-29 age range every year, worth around $5.3 billion to the State’s economy.

“The US market accounts for almost 10 per cent of the total youth visitor market to NSW – more than 82,000 young US visitors spent more than $270 million last year in NSW,” Gray said, adding, “NSW is Australia’s premier surfing destination, with the nation’s most accessible surf beaches, best learn-to-surf experiences and surf tourism infrastructure and our friendly and laid-back beach lifestyle is celebrated throughout the world.”

Gray said Destination NSW estimates the Australian Open of Surfing will drive more than $6 million in new money into NSW and showcase both Manly and Sydney to a global audience.

“The Australian Open is an international sister event for the annual Huntington Beach festival and will take place on Manly Beach from 11-19 February 2012.

“More than 125,000 people are expected to attend the inaugural Australian Open which will profile the best in surfing, skate, music, fashion and art.”

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